Adoration of the Magi

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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The artwork, Adoration of the Magi, can be portrayed, comprehended, and viewed in many opposing styles, but the significant aspect of this narrative imagery is commonly shared within all versions. The emphasis surrounds the baby Jesus Christ who is depicted as royalty and one with high power, but this representation is debatable. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast two reproductions of the Adoration of the Magi, and here one will recognize similar and opposing aspects that emphasize its uniqueness.

In the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, an image of the Adoration of the Magi was reproduced in AD 432-440 on the arch above the altar. This painting is just one of many cyclic narratives painted. This version reveals a busy narrative pictorial that depicts natural and supernatural forms with the focus on the birth of the young Jesus Christ. This painting is divided chronologically in two stages with the upper and lower half sectioned.

The upper portion occurs chronologically first, and emphasizes Mary sitting on a throne with angels guarding her side. The dove above her is an emblem as a sign of peace and the angel flying above is probably the archangel Gabriel, telling Mary of her soon- to- be pregnancy by the Lord. Also Joseph, her husband, appears on her far right. Another structure to her right is probably her home or the stable where she will bear the young Jesus Christ. This structure is detailed with geometric shapes, which appears to stand out and catch the viewer's eye. The human- like figures are frontal with slanting standing positions. In addition, it seems like they are discussing the coming of the baby Lord, Mary will soon bare, and the angels seem to share this information with Joseph. This scene represents how the...