Simone Cantarini
(Pesaro 1612 – Verona 1648)

The Adoration of the Magi

Olio su tela, cm 212 x 158


Nobody moves during the long pose. Only the page on the left hand side turns his head towards the painter, without betraying emotion. There is an air of sorrow, of a melancholy omen, as in a late summer afternoon when the morning’s promises have vanished and the night looms ahead. It is the end of summer, in a shot frozen at the edge of life. Indeed it is thought that the solemn monumentality of the draped bodies, the focus on the expressions and the grave, gloomy, smileless faces, are the remnants of a trip to Rome where the later lessons from Guido Reni, to whom he was apprenticed, may have been tarnished by the day-to-day attitude of the light and shade painters.


Fig. 2: Simone Cantarini, The Adoration of the Magi. Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie, Graphische Sammlung, Sammlung Schloss Fachsenfeld, © 2017.