This unfinished oil painting is an early work by Leonardo Da Vinci done in 1481, as a commission to the monks of San Donato from the Scopeto monastery. It was left unfinished because Leonardo Da Vinci departed to Milan the following year before finishing the crowded scene. The fact that this piece was left unfinished allows us to look deeper into Da Vinci’s construction process. This piece would be, basically, the first stage of an oil painting where some sections of it are properly built and have some color details, light, shadow and volume, and other parts are only structural sketches. Now it’s part of the collection of Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
In the foreground, precisely in the center, there are Mary and Christ as a child on her arms and the Magi kneeling to her feet. It’s possible to trace the pyramidal shape Da Vinci and other Renaissance artists used as a guideline to build his works including the famous The Last Supper. The Magi work as a perfect frame for Mary and draw her as the center and the most important section of the piece.
This painting has several situations happening, so the pyramidal shape sets apart Mary and Christ from the rest of the subject matter. To the right, it’s possible to observe a group of men usually referred as “the philosophers.” Occupying the upper right corner is a sketch of some battle or conflict, which slowly merges onto the upper middle of the painting into a classical piece of architecture, lighter and more geometrical. It’s speculated that these ruins would be a possible reference to the Basilica of Maxentius.
There is a set of preparatory sketches for this painting where it’s possible to look further into the detail of this painting.
Around Mary, the three submissive Magi are offering gifts. Christ’s arm is stretched, reaching for the first gift coming from the Magi on the bottom right. It’s possible to trace a line from Mary’s head, from the line of her nose through Christ’s stretched arms all the way to the Magi’s offering.
Even though this is only an underpainting, it is possible to observe Leonardo Da Vinci’s technique of sfumato, where he would harmonize the shapes and the colors within the painting, creating a hazy atmosphere through a blurry effect.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Adoration of the Magi, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Adoration of the Magi that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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