Thursday, January 10, 2008

Adoration of the Kings 1564 Breugel

From the National Gallery, London: The Adoration of the Kings 1564 by BRUEGEL, Pieter.

In this unusual rendering of the Adoration, the Three Kings presenting their gifts are treated as caricatures and the Virgin is not idealised. The work is composed from a high viewpoint, focusing attention on the Infant Christ on his mother's lap, at the exact centre of the picture. People crowd around them and there is little sense of depth or space. The elongated figures of the Kings are characteristic of a painting style that was fashionable around this time.

A figure on the extreme right wears spectacles. His presence may indicate that those around Christ are blind to his significance; Bruegel has used spectacles on other occasions to signify in an ironic manner the inability of the subject to see the truth. Most of the figures, in fact, appear to be gently mocked by the artist.

2 comments:

Jane said...

Thank you for your always fascinating posts, links and research. I've been wrestling with epiphany meanings myself this week so it was good to read your reflections - to give me inspitration for next year.
Keep up the good work in the new year - it's fun to think of someone listening to Radio 3 on the other side of the pond - while I download it onto my ipod to listen to in the train between Geneva and Rome.
BTW there was a really interesting In our time with Melvyn Bragg on the Nicene Creed - on Radio 4 - December I think and you can still downlaod it.
Jane

Deirdre said...

Thank you Jane for your post and your courage. All the best for your work. I do my best to listen to In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg each week on my Ipod. I agree with you, its global.

Once I was on the subway at Times Square 42nd Street listening to a Nature Program from Radio 4 hearing oyster catchers and corn crakes from the outer Hebrides. Talk about cognitive dissonance. If I ever saw or heard a bird at Times Square it would be astonishing!