MASTER of the Holy Kinship
(active 1480-1518 in Cologne)

The Adoration of the Magi

Oil on panel, 116 x 86 cm
Private collection

This double-sided panel once formed the wing of a now lost altarpiece, with the Adoration of the Magi originally serving as the interior panel and the Throne of Grace as the exterior. Formerly, the panel was in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. It was sold for the Acquisitions Fund in 2013.

The style of this master and his workshop was greatly influenced by Flemish painters, in particular, Hugo van der Goes, whose Monforte Altarpiece may be seen as a direct inspiration for the individual figures in this work (particularly the second kneeling King in the Adoration). Furthermore, the picture is indicative of the influence which Rogier van der Weyden had on the group of Cologne painters working at the turn of the 16th century. Such influence on the present work can be seen in Rogier's Columba Altarpiece, which utilizes a similar spatial construction and figural arrangement found in the Adoration here.