Passions & Places

Adorazione dei Magi by Tintoretto

Magi Adoration by Tintoretto

Tintoretto- (1518-1594) 
Adorazione dei Magi (1587)

Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Vergini

The Venetian artist painted the work when he was already a mature artist in 1587 in the same years when he had produced an other Magi Adoration for the great school of San Rocco in Venice.

The pyramidal composition allows Tintoretto to create a visual acme that culminates in the upper part of the canvas. There the angels make themselves a means of the divine presence opening a poach of light.

As if on a stage the main characters appear telling over again the tale of the birth of the Infant and the coming of the Magi from the East.

The characters are located on three different areas: some bystanders are on the foreground ready to salute and offer tokens to the King of kings. They concur in creating a agitated movement of eager waiting that characterizes the scene.

The stuffed crocodile brought to the Infant is a detail, among the others, that focuses on the scene: it reminds of the victory of the Macerata troops during the Crusades. They wanted to present this token to the true Saviour.

The Holy Virgin, Jesus and the three Magi that submissively honour the new born are set in the second strip. The oldest Magio is the one depicted more in detail. His dress has an high scenographic effect as it is a beautiful arabesque and it is held by a servant on his right.

The latter allows us to see a procession that is approaching from the right. The quote to the Adoration of San Rocco is clear.

In the background there is the glory of heaven in front of the Advent of God incarnated on the earth: it is the perfect fulfilment of the history of man. God comes back to earth uniting the divine nature and the human one. It is the mending of a scar that had been created by the original sin. In a scene the sense of  love of God for men is synthesized.  

The main character of the episode is light. It increases the plastic value to the figures and touches the bodies there where the observer should concentrate.

by Sara Tassi
Translated by Guendalina Santini
for  Paradise Possible

Copyright© 2007Liberation Ventures Ltd.

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