Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Adoration of the Magi

Abraham Bloemaert was one of the leading painters in Utrecht, a Catholic city within predominantly Protestant Holland. This major painting reflects the city’s Catholic identity through the emphasis on the red and gold bishop’s cope worn by Caspar, the oldest magus. A similar cope, belonging to David of Burgundy, who served as bishop of Utrecht from 1456 to 1496, could be seen at St. John’s Cathedral in the city. Another version of this painting—minus the three figures at the extreme right—is in the collection of the Centraal Museum of Utrecht. Although scholars have debated which version was produced first, there seems to be little doubt that both works were painted by Bloemaert himself.

Abraham Bloemaert
Dutch, 1566–1651
Adoration of the Magi
Oil on canvas
72 ¼ x 93 ¼ in. (183.5 x 236.9 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 90.63