John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Advent Art: The Adoration of the Magi (middle panel)

Pieter Aertsen (1508–1575)
The Adoration of the Magi (middle panel), c. 1560
Oil on panel
The Adoration of the Magi (middle panel)
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Strictly speaking, this is the adoration of a magus. Specifically, Melchior, by tradition the oldest of the three magi. (A tradition I didn't mention yesterday is that the three kings represented the three ages of man. Exactly what differentiates these kind of made-up details from fanfic, I couldn't say. Hundreds of years, I guess.) Like it says up there, this was originally part of a triptych. The left panel shows Gaspar; the right, presumably, showed Balthasar, but that panel has been lost.

This is January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the visit of the Magi. Why is it celebrated after the Feast of the Holy Innocents, which commemorates something that happened after the Magi's visit? Who knows. It just is, OK? Epiphany is the twelfth day of Christmas, so many people view it as the end of the Christmas season. Others see Candlemas, commemorating the Presentation at the Temple (which, as I'm sure you recall, I talked about back on December 26), as the end of the Christmas season. Liturgically speaking, the official end of the Christmas season is this coming Sunday, the Feast of the Baptism of Christ. But when I started doing an annual Advent project back in 2003, I decided to make January 6 the end of my project, and I see no need to change that now. So thanks for looking at my art, everyone! Hope you enjoyed it.

Previous Advent posts:

2004: We Three Kings
2005: Los Reyes Magos
2006: Three wee kings
2007: Twelfth Night
2008: Columba Altarpiece
2009: Sleigh Ride
2010: As With Gladness Men of Old
Tags: advent: 2010, art: painting

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