Example IIPImage 2
One of the example graphs list of the Including Zoomable Images page.
The Adoration of the Kings is mentioned in Saint Matthew’s Gospel, 2:11.
The palatial buildings are in ruins. The stones and bricks are chipped and broken and are overgrown with creepers, small trees and other plants. It seems impossible to make much sense of the architecture but the round arches and the marble columns are in the Roman style. The frieze above the Virgin bears a relief of naked dancing babies (fig.25). Four capitals are decorated with naked babies: at the top left, above the head of the first angel (fig.26); at the top right, above the head of the angel in pink (fig.27); on the left, between the scroll and the left wing of the angel in green; and on the right, between the angel in white and the praying hands of the angel in pink. On the capital above the eldest king is a relief of the Sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22: 9–13). Abraham seems to be nude, which is very unusual; the angel stays his right hand; Isaac, who is kneeling, is dressed in a long robe; the ram, which should be behind Abraham, appears in front of Isaac. The floor is made up of slabs of coloured stone arranged in geometrical patterns but again chipped and broken. Weeds and wild flowers have sprung up between the stones: plants of the hawkweed genus, thistles and, in the centre, white dead-nettles. The two dogs have been adapted from prints. The dog on the left is taken, in reverse, from Schongauer’s ‘Adoration of the Kings’ (fig.28); the dog on the right is from Dürer’s ‘Saint Eustace’ (see fig.49).
The Virgin and Child have blue eyes and gilded haloes (fig.29). The eldest king, Caspar, who has greenish-grey eyes and a wart on his left cheek (fig.21), has offered his gift of gold coins in a golden goblet. The Child takes one of the coins in his left hand. The cover of the goblet, inscribed with the king’s name: [L]E ROII IASPAR, lies at the feet of the Virgin; the goblet itself is ornamented with columns, lions and roundels of men’s heads. In front of Caspar are his hat (the fleurs-de-lis around the crown look black but are in fact azurite) and his sceptre, which incorporates two naked babies holding looped ropes and a figure of Moses holding the Tables of the Law (fig.30). The second king, Melchior, who has brown eyes, stands behind Caspar and wears a doublet of green patterned in silver beneath a coat of cloth of gold patterned in azurite and lined with ermine. He carries his frankincense in an elaborate golden vessel ornamented with figures of (?) prophets (fig.22) ....
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