Passions & Places

Adorazione dei Magi by Pomarancio

Magi Adoration
by Cristoforo Roncalli called Il Pomarancio
Pomarancio (1553-1626)
Adorazione dei Magi (1605-1610)
Pinacoteca Civica

The painting is part of the Conti Marcinforte di Ancona collection. It should date back from 1605 to 1610.

The painting does not betray the education of the artist. He was in fact subject to the influence of Seventeenth century Mannerism shadowed by an academism typical of Raffaello and Barocci, an artist from Le Marche.

The composition was studied according to a modern language: The traditional hut was replaced by a series of steps whose summit there is a chair on which the Madonna and the Infant are leaned. Behind the Holy Virgin a solid and strong column rises from the ground: The antiquarial reference, much dear to Mannerism, bears the seed of the symbolism related to Holy Mary. She is in fact a weight bearing column of the Church founded by Jesus Christ.

The scene is crowded by colourful characters that contribute to determine a positively active movement that is opposite to the quiet motions of the main characters on focus: The Magio on the left kneels at the Infant feet and stares astatically the Holy couple and holds a bronze vase decorated with Roman style chains. He is characterized by the traditional token in gold. He also owns a crown that is held by a child at his back. Also the most ancient Magio is attended by a child that does not pay attention to what is happening.

According to an iconography dating back to the IV century, that derivates from an ivory kept as a treasure at the Cathedral in Milan, the hoary Magio is kneeling and leans towards Jesus to kiss his feet: submission to Christ is total and unconditioned. In front of the King of kings there is no power or powerful person that does not kneel with humility.

We can see the third Magio in the background characterized by a pink turban and crown: his dark complexion reminds us of the symbolic motif of the connexion between the Magi and the three continents known at the time: Europe, Asia and Aftrica.

The chromatic choice is mainly based on yellow, red and blue. The light operates as a diversification of nuances and to give a continuum to the tale.

by Sara Tassi
Translated by Guendalina Santini
for  Paradise Possible

Copyright© 2007Liberation Ventures Ltd.

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