Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Artists

The Master of the Von Groote (active, Antwerp ca. 1515 - 1520); Jan de Beer (ca. 1475 - before 1528 – )

Title

A Triptych: The Adoration of the Magi, The Nativity at Night, with the Annunciation to the Shepherds, and The Flight into Egypt

Creation Date

active, Antwerp ca. 1515-1520

Century

early 16th century

Dimensions

32 1/4 x 9 5/8 in. (81.92 x 24.45 cm)

Object Type

painting

Creation Place

Europe, Netherlands

Medium and Support

oil on panel, in an engaged frame

Credit Line

Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund, Jane H. and Charles E. Parker, Jr. Art Acquisition Fund and Laura T. and John H. Halford, Jr. Art Acquisition Fund

Copyright

Public Domain

Accession Number

2018.25
An exceptional copy of Jan de Beer’s now-lost Adoration triptych, this painting expresses ideas found in sixteenth-century Antwerp, de Beer’s home and Europe’s largest commercial port. Within classical ruins and naturalistic scenery, scenes in the life of the Holy Family are depicted with sophistication and visual elegance. The birth of Christ appears at left and the Flight into Egypt is on the right. At center, three wise men offer gold, frankincense, and myrrh, gifts that mirrored the economy of Antwerp where these rare commodities arrived from India, Asia, and Africa. One king is a Black African whose turban identifies him as Muslim although the artist depicted him in European dress. Through the Trans-Saharan trade route, African rulers were known and respected in Renaissance Europe, before racism and exploitation led to the capture and enslavement of their people.

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