Museo del Prado, Madrid

Museo Nacional del Prado | Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23
28014 Madrid

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press release

The goal of this exhibition is to explore Rubens' creativity. With this end in mind it brings together a group of paintings that will contribute to the study of one of the artist's most ambitious works: the great Adoration of the Magi which belongs to the Museo del Prado.

The Adoration was originally painted in Antwerp in 1609, and was enlarged and reworked by Rubens himself twenty years later in 1628-29 in Madrid. The present exhibition includes various oil sketches made as preparatory works, and a copy which records its original appearance in 1609. The chance to compare the copy with the reworked final version offers a unique opportunity to study the evolution of the artist's taste and pictorial style.

The exhibition also includes other works by Rubens which help to set the Adoration of the Magi into context, and to explore the artist's creative powers. The paintings of Saint Thomas and Saint Paul of around 1613 show how Rubens reused his figure types, as the two saints share the features of two of the magi in The Adoration.

The paintings The Discovery of Philopoemen and The Immaculate Conception are close to Rubens' style at the time when he painted, and then repainted the Adoration of the Magi. The figures in the former painting remind us of what the 1609 version of the Adoration must have looked like. The Immaculate Conception was painted in Madrid in 1628-29, when the artist was involved in the transformation of the Adoration.


only in german

Rubens, La Adoración de los Magos
Peter Paul Rubens