Dose of Art #117: Pieter Paul Rubens – The Adoration of the Magi (c. 1628-1629)

What a difference with yesterdays painting. With his typical style, Rubens packed his painting with figures, light, and movement. There’s no doubt who is the central figure of the painting (although he is painted on the left); the glowing Jesus accepting the gifts of the Kings visiting him. Take a moment to look at each of the animal and human figures as for Rubens these were what made a painter great. Even the almost naked slaves carrying the heavy gifts are beautifully painted. And the light reflecting in the eyes of the camels looks like the stars visible on the top right.
Another interesting observation is that most of the figures are not looking at Jesus but in other directions, except for Rubens – who painted himself sitting on a horse, wearing a dark red robe and a gold chain on the right side of the painting and whose gaze is directly aimed at the little Jesus on the opposite side of the painting.