Skip to main content
The Adoration of the Kings
Dosso Dossi
/

Unusually, Dosso has set the Adoration of the Kings at night, which provided opportunities for the flickering brushwork for which he is noted. The huge harvest moon with a pink aureole, traversed by storm clouds, casts a mysterious golden light that picks out features of the fortified town in the background.

On the left-hand side of the scene is what looks like a cave, but is in fact architecture covered by vegetation. This is the artist’s version of the ruined arch – a common symbol in scenes of the Nativity, representing the decline of the old and the coming of a new age. The dramatic moon gives the scene a portentous feel; at the time the painting was made, such meterological effects were frequently interpreted as carrying meaning or presaging important events.

This picture was probably painted in Ferrara, where the artist worked for the court of the ruling Este family.

Key facts
Artist Dosso Dossi
Artist dates about 1486 - 1542
Full title The Adoration of the Kings
Date made about 1527-9
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 85.1 x 108 cm
Acquisition credit Mond Bequest, 1924
Inventory number NG3924
Location in Gallery Room 10
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo