Nostalgia Fine Art Paul Rubens

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This Biblical story, from the book of Matthew centers upon the Adoration of the Magi, which was one of Rubens' favorite themes; he made at least twelve paintings of this scene. In this rendition, we see the three Magi, representing the lands and races that had heard about the birth of the Savior, bearing gifts for the Christ child. The entire group faces a placid looking Mary but the central kneeling figure in white is Gaspar, who brings frankincense, and rests on a pillow before Jesus. Melchior, who brings gold, is standing behind him and the third, the Moorish King Balthasar in green with a turban, offers myrrh. The colorful group is shown crowded into the ruins of an ancient structure.

On the right, the Virgin Mary, most likely modeled after Rubens' first wife Isabella Brant, looks adoringly at her happy child and presents him to the Magi. Symbols add depth of meaning to the entire scene. The ancient pillar or column symbolizes the ravaged palace of David from whose bloodline the Messiah was born. The peaceful ox is a symbol of faith and the tiny spider in the web, top right, symbolizes the evil, which Jesus will overcome.

The enormous painting, almost 15 by 11 feet, would be overwhelming to view without the artist's careful planning utilizing signature Baroque techniques. Rubens' brushwork keeps the energy flowing around the many figures honoring Jesus including servants, soldiers, horses, camels, and one ox all blended into a cohesive whole by Rubens' masterful use of diagonals, color, light, and the careful placement of forms. The bright reds and glowing light areas of the exaggerated faces, the hair, beards, and the clothing also guide the viewer's eyes.
the picture copied from The Art Story


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