BRUEGEL, Pieter the Elder
(b. ca. 1525, Brogel, d. 1569, Brussel)

The Adoration of the Kings (detail)

Oil on wood, width of detail 21 cm
National Gallery, London

Bruegel depicts the Adoration as it could have been staged in a Passion play. It was admissible within the context of such plays that someone whisper something in Joseph's ear - not, however, in the case of pictures, according to the guidelines laid down by the Counter-Reformation.