Adoration of the Magi - Sandro Botticelli. 111x134
In this multi-figure composition, the master of the quattrocento Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) presented in the image of the Magi worshiping the Infant Christ, members of the Medici family, bankers and merchants, rulers of Florence, and close to them, among whom was himself.
Among the ruins of ancient Rome, symbolizing the end of the old world and the beginning of a new, Christian, Madonna sits. She holds the Baby on her lap, stands behind, with her elbows on her arm, Joseph and looks with emotion at the newborn. Before Christ, Cosimo the Elder Medici knelt down.
Closer to the front edge of the painting are the sons of Cosimo, Pierrot and Giovanni. By the time of writing, they and their father had already died, but Botticelli included them in the family circle as inextricably linked with her. In black and red robes stands, thoughtful, Giuliano, son of Pierrot, behind him with a beard and a hat - the philosopher Giovanni Argiropulo, in front of him in blue - the customer of the work, Zanobi del Lama. To the left in a proud pose stands Giuliano’s brother, Lorenzo the Magnificent, next to him is the poet Angelo Poliziano, a humanist and philosopher Pico della Mirandola tells them something. Finally, in the lower right corner, Botticelli himself is looking at the viewer, wrapped in a red coat. The tradition of portraying yourself among scripture participants was widespread during the Renaissance.
The Medici established in Florence the so-called Brotherhood of the Magi, which included themselves and their close ones. The brotherhood arranged costumed processions: its members, dressed as wise men, walked and rode horses on horses through the streets of the city. Probably, these mysteries also found their echo in the picture of Botticelli.