Skip to main content

Sandro Botticelli, The Adoration of the Kings

Key facts
Full title The Adoration of the Kings
Artist Sandro Botticelli
Artist dates about 1445 - 1510
Date made about 1470-5
Medium and support Tempera on poplar
Dimensions 130.8 × 130.8 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1878
Inventory number NG1033
Location Gallery D
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Adoration of the Kings
Sandro Botticelli

Botticelli painted at least six scenes of the Adoration of the Kings. This, one of his most expansive and ambitious, is painted in a circular format called a tondo. The figures and animals in the outer circle face inwards to pay respect to the Christ Child, inviting the viewer to do the same. Botticelli has raised the Virgin and Child upon a natural rocky platform, ensuring the viewer looks up towards them in reverence.

A makeshift roof has been inserted within the central arch so that it doubles as the humble stable where Christ was born. Crumbling classical architecture was a common feature in religious paintings in the Renaissance period, symbolising how Christianity had surpassed pagan religion and culture.

The picture may have belonged to the Pucci, a Florentine family. It might have been a tribute to the ruling Medici family, who identified strongly with the kings and owned two very large and elaborate paintings of the subject themselves.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

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.

Download low-resolution image

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

Creative Commons Logo