GENTILE DA FABRIANO |
Adorazione dei Magi |
Uffizi, Sala 5-6 |
Versione breve | La narrazione è di Zeinab Kabil, la voce di Laura Curino |
Gentile da Fabriano | Adoration of the Magi | Room 5-6
On a journey, following a star. To meet the Child, here in the foreground.
In the three lunettes of the frame, we can follow the procession of the Magi. In the top left, the three wise men are gazing at the star from a mountain peak overlooking the sea. I wonder: is it possible that, in spite of their precious robes, they too felt the bewilderment and uncertainty of the journey? That, in spite of the lavish procession, they felt alone? That, once at their destination, they longed to return home?
The sea breeze accompanied my journey. When I arrived in Italy, everything was new. The homesickness for my birthplace was replaced by the nostalgia for the person I was when I lived there.
In the central lunette, the Magi are crossing an idyllic landscape to enter Jerusalem. I can smell the scent of my land, the embrace of the warm air. The journey of the three wise men has become an exotic hunting trip, with cheetahs sitting on horseback.
In the top right, finally, the Magi enter Bethlehem, then continue down to where the Child is. The star, almost close enough to touch, now shines above Joseph’s head. The three wise men from the East are represented as the three ages of man. During different stages of their lives, they have all been able to face their challenges.
For them, as for me, travel was a source of knowledge and renewal. When I became an Italian citizen, I started to visit Europe with my children. These journeys were so different from the one that brought me to Italy many years ago. Today I am no longer afraid.
Gentile da Fabriano, the artist who painted this precious panel, travelled a lot too. When he reached Florence he found a new way to make art, which he embraced with an open mind, although he remained faithful to his late-Gothic artistic roots. Thus, for example, he enjoys playing with illusions of depth, but at the same time he maintains as main points of view as there are episodes narrated in the painting.
Opening up to new things while remaining true to ourselves is what I have done with my three children. As they grew up, they enjoyed the freedom of this country, but also the solid nature of their roots. In our house, we wake at dawn, and each one of us pray in silence. In the Koran, there is a verse that says: “My Lord, increase me in knowledge”. In my early days in Italy, prayer was not enough to soothe my worries. Knowledge led me to pray in a way that was more mature, aware.
And it is talking about prayer that I perceive the great unity in this painting, given by the prevalence of gold. This was probably at the request of Palla Strozzi, the rich Florentine banker who commissioned this panel and is depicted behind the youngest of the Magi.
On a symbolic level, however, gold refers to divine light and defines a holy space, bringing harmony even where there is diversity. True wealth does not lie in the material value of gold, but in faith, in knowledge and in the journey.
The Magi went home “by another way” because their lives had changed. My life also changed, and today I am surprised to see, in the center of the predella, these small figures fleeing to safety, towards my land, Egypt.
Are you the creator of this podcast?
and pick the featured episodes for your show.
Connect with listeners
Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fansYes, let's begin connecting
Find new listeners
Understand your audience
Engage your fanbase