Adoration of the Magi
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Attributed to Jusepe de Ribera
Spanish, about 1620
Pen and brown ink with a wash over black chalk, heightened with white
10 7/8 x 8 9/16 in.

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Jusepe de Ribera chose an unusual arrangement for his powerful composition of a frequently depicted subject. The Magi, wise men from the East, and their attendants crowd into a small space around the Virgin Mary and the newborn Christ Child. As the wise man on the right kneels down humbly to pay his respects, however, the one on the left seems to stand apart grimacing. Another, at the back of the scene, impolitely turns away completely, showing only the back of his head to the Mother and Child. Joseph has already taken one of the gifts, offering it to his wife, who grabs it eagerly.

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