Like many seventeenth-century artists, Leonaert Bramer traveled to Italy, where he became acquainted not only with the art of the Italians but also with the art of other Dutch artists working there. In this dramatically illuminated nocturnal scene, Bramer intensifies the drama and the visionary quality through a rough application of paint and the nervous, flickering reflections of light. In the pronounced treatment of light and dark, the mood, and the choice of costumes, one may detect Rembrandt's influence, while the foliage and the rendering of the two angels are close to the art of Lastman.
Artist Leonaert Bramer, Dutch, 1596-1674
  • The Adoration of the Magi
Date between 1630 and 1635
Medium Oil on oak panel
Dimensions Unframed: 16 1/2 × 20 1/2 inches (41.9 × 52.1 cm)
Framed: 23 5/8 × 27 3/4 × 1 1/2 inches (60 × 70.5 × 3.8 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Joseph M. de Grimme Memorial Fund; and gifts from Mr. and Mrs. Edgar B. Whitcomb, Harriet Scripps, and Mr. and Mrs. Sol Eisenberg by exchange
Accession Number 1993.19
Department European Painting
On View Dutch Golden Age S380, Level 3 (see map)
Earl of Haddington;
Dr. E.I. Schapiro;
November 30, 1979, sold by (Christie's, London, England) auction Dr. E.I. Schapiro, lot 1.
until 1992, (Richard Feigen & Co., New York, New York, USA);
(Jack Kilgore, Gutekunst, New York, New York, USA);
1993-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Sumowski, W. Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler. Landau, 1983, vol. 1, pp. 44, 87, 111, note 49 (ill.).

Fox Hofrichter, F. Leonaert Bramer, 1596-1674, A Painter of the Night. Exh. cat., Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University. Milwaukee, 1992, pp. 54-55, no. 6 (ill.).

ten Brink Goldsmith, J. et al. Leonaert Bramer, 1596-1674, Ingenious Painter and Draughtsman in Rome and Delft. Exh. cat., Stedelijk Museum. Delft, 1994, pp. 106-107, no. 18 (ill.).

Vermeer and the Delft School. Exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2001, pp. 68-69 (fig. 77).

Keyes, George S. et al. Masters of Dutch Painting: The Detroit Institute of Arts. London, 2004, pp. 40–43, no. 13 (ill.).