GENTILE DA FABRIANO
(b. ca. 1370, Fabriano Marche, d. 1427, Roma)
Tempera on wood, 32 x 75 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
This is the left scene of the predella on the large altarpiece Adoration of the Magi.
In this scene the luminous radiance emanating from the body of the Christ Child suffuses the central part of the small panel, bathing the figures and the landscape in a soft glow that is as much a depiction of natural moonlight on landscape forms as it is a manifestation of the supernatural. The light extends to the left edge of the panel where it casts distinct shadows on the shed framing the two reclining women there. A comparable depiction of the divine through the carefully observed natural phenomena of light appears in the upper right of the panel where the angel appears to the shepherds to announce the birth of Christ.