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Botticelli image

Sandro Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi; 1444/45–1510)
Horses and Spectators (Fragment of an Adoration of the Kings), 1500–1505
Brush and brown ink or tempera, heightened with white, over traces of black chalk, on three pieces of prepared linen stitched together
12 3/8 x 13 1/4 inches (316 x 338 mm)
Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924; I, 5
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Together with two additional sections now in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England, these figures once formed part of a composition of the Adoration of the Magi. The monochrome technique and expressive figures reveal the influence of Leonardo’s unfinished Florentine Adoration. The extensive modeling and high degree of finish suggest that Botticelli’s original canvas was either intended as a monochromatic painting or, more likely, a late compositional study used as a guide for establishing light values.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.