London art in the city

Adoration of the Magi, 1564

by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

As my last entry from the series London, art in the city is one of my favourite paintings in the National Gallery. This piece is of particular interest because of the way Bruege, a Northern Renaissance Master,l has morphed the characters’ physical features in order to represent their inner natures, and thus the vices of humanity.

He presents the Christ child in the midsts of a cast of vile looking magi and shepherds, consequently communicating his birth into a corrupted and dangerous world. This is an aspect I particularly appreciate, the artist’s intent in exaggerating representations in order to achieve an unidealised depiction of such a popular scene.

The painting can be found at the National Gallery of London