Initial E: The Adoration of the Magi

Object Details

Title:

Initial E: The Adoration of the Magi

Artist/Maker(s):

Franco dei Russi (Italian, active about 1453 - 1482)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Veneto, Italy (Place created)

Date:

1470s

Medium:

Tempera and gold on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 15 x 15.7 cm (5 7/8 x 6 3/16 in.)

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The three kings come to pay homage to the infant Christ in this wildly colorful scene. The blues, greens and violets of the ground and in the figures harmonize with the three colors of the decorative initial. The eldest king has removed his crown in recognition of Christ's superior rank and is about to kiss his feet in reverence. The Christ Child, who has accepted his gift, offers the king his blessing. The figure of the youngest king (the farthest to the right) stands out from the color scheme in his red tunic and cap, and his stocking labeled "DOM." This may represent a contemporary figure dressed in courtly costume of the period, perhaps the patron. This initial from a choir book probably introduced the text of the Introit for the feast of the Epiphany: "E[cce advenit dominator Dominus...]" (Behold the lord the ruler is come...).

Related Works
Exhibitions
The Bernard H. Breslauer Collection of Manuscript Illuminations (December 9, 1992 to April 4, 1993)
  • The Morgan Library & Museum, (New York), December 9, 1992 to April 4, 1993
Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence 1300-1450 (November 17, 1994 to February 26,1995)
Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance (March 29 to June 12, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 29 to June 12, 2005
Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscript Illumination from the J. Paul Getty Museum (September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006
Music for the Masses: Illuminated Choir Books (August 14 to October 28, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 14 to October 28, 2007
Give and Ye Shall Receive: Gift Giving in the Middle Ages (December 12, 2014 to March 15, 2015)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 12, 2014 to March 15, 2015
Related Media
  • /
    Audio: Initial E: The Adoration of the Magi, feat. Christine Sciacca