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The Adoration of the Magi

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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Three men have followed a star – you can see it just inside the stable – to pay homage to the infant Christ. These wise men, sometimes called kings – here they all have crowns – are shown kneeling before him. One has set his crown aside and kisses the newborn’s foot, showing reverence to him.

This panel has been associated with the Florentine painter Zanobi Strozzi, who was also a skilled manuscript illuminator. Illuminations were often highly decorative with plenty of gold leaf and minute attention to detail. The meadow that the kings and their attendants kneel in is filled with a variety of tiny flowers and grasses; some look like daisies. Their costumes are embellished with gold patterns.

We don’t know which altarpiece this predella (the lowest part of an altarpiece) panel belonged to, but it has been connected with a panel showing the Nativity of Christ in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The National Gallery, London



The Adoration of the Magi


about 1433-4


Egg tempera on wood


H 19 x W 47.4 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1857

Work type



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Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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