Passions & Places

Adorazione dei Magi by Claudio Ridolfi

Adorazione dei Magi
di Claudio Ridolfi<}0{>Magi Adoration by Claudio Ridolfi

Claudio Ridolfi (1570 ca.-1644)
Adorazione dei Pastori XVII sec.
Museo Civico


The painter from Verona moved to Le Marche after apprenticing at Paolo Veronese workshop in Venetia. He acquired the sublime dialect of the Barrocci brush in a magnificent sample of the melting of luministic-chromatic values of the Venetian painting and Le Marche compositive intimacy.


The night setting is contemplated by the words of the Gospel by Luke 2, 1-20, that tells of the announcement of the angel to the shepherds "that waited in the night” that came to find "a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths in a manger”.

In the middle of the composition the sweet Holy Virgin prays above the new born Baby, already the Saviour of the World. She is surrounded by shepherds on her right and by her spouse Joseph on her left. He stares at Jesus and he tries not to invade the space of holy intimacy created between Mary and her Son.

The light that pervades the figures in focus comes through an opening in the clouds. They symbolize the Grace of the Holy Spirit as Trinitarian presence in the scene. 

The shepherds bring the fruits of their work to the Infant like three Kings of poverty. They turn the richness of the presents in richness of the spirit: humility is their human condition and their promptness in hailing the announcement of the birth of Christ makes them preferred and chosen as the first worshippers of the Saviour.

Taken from the iconography of the Magi, the shepherd on the left is knelt while the other two are standing waiting to adore the Infant. The latter hold pipes on their shoulders: As Luke writes "then the shepherds went back glorifying and praising the All Mighty” music becomes the symbolic element to show the praise to God in Jesus Christ. The melody is still dumb for the incarnation of the poor King among the poorest celebrate in the silence of the mistery.

by Sara Tassi
Translated by Guendalina Santini
for  Paradise Possible

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