The Adoration of the Magi Lorenzo Ghiberti Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Perhaps the panel with the most original gilt still remaining, The Adoration of the Magi offers an insight into Ghiberti's style of depicting architectural structure within his sculptured works

The full series of panels took around 21 years to complete in total, even with the assistance afforded to Ghiberti. In a similar fashion to the artist's The Annunciation, Ghiberti prefers to stick closely to the earlier style of Andrea Pisano who produced a series of doors around a century earlier. Those panels were moved to the south doors but the Gothic style remained particularly influential on Ghiberti for his North Doors, lesser so for his Gates of Paradise.

The use of perspective was a key development made by Ghiberti but it is hard to see any of this in his first series of doors - the background architecture struggles for room within this tiny panel and appears to be more of an after thought compared to some of his later work in other projects. It is important to remember that the artist was very much at the start of his career at this point, lacking perhaps the confidence to be as bold as he would later on when his reputation was fully established.

The Adoration of the Magi appears again and again throughout the Renaissance and Baroque art movements across Europe. It was particularly frequent in Italian and Flemish regions, who were both at the forefront on these significant developments in art, literature and architecture. Notable contributions on this topic included paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, Leonardo da Vinci, Gentile da Fabriano, Sandro Botticelli, Andrea Mantegna and Giotto.