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The Adoration of the Magi; The Dormition of the Virgin
Bohemia (Prague), ca. 1360
Tempera and gold on linen-covered panels
Each panel: 11 3/4 x 7 1/4 inches (300 x 185 mm.)
Framed: 13 3/4 x 9 7/8 inches (350 x 250 mm.)
Purchased by J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1931; AZ022.1-2
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Crafted at the court of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV (r. 1347–1378) at Prague, these exquisite panels likely formed a diptych—commissioned perhaps by the emperor himself. In the scene of the three kings adoring the Christ Child, the second magus has the features of Charles and his red cloak bears the imperial eagle. In the panel depicting the Virgin's death, St. Peter wears the three-tiered papal tiara. These details allude to the delicate balance between sacred and terrestrial power.

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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.