Adoration of the Magi


Adoration of the Magi



Born in Verona, Bonifazio worked primarily in Venice, where he absorbed the art of Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione, as well as that of his contemporaries Palma Giovane and especially Titian. In design and style his paintings are conservative, variations more than advances on models by the great Venetian masters. Although he ran a busy workshop (Jacopo Bassano studied under him), he seldom attracted high patronage or top fees. He and his collaborators spent some 20 years decorating the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi at the Rialto, all the while producing numerous private devotional and secular paintings.

Among those, the Adoration of the Magi was a particularly popular subject in the artist’s studio, where many versions with compositional variations were recycled. In the Tata painting, for instance, the pose of the central standing magus (who might contain a contemporary portrait) simply reverses his counterpart in Bonifazio’s Adoration at Petworth House; the turbaned magus at the right closely echoes a kindred figure in an Adoration of 1537 in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice; and the posture of the Virgin in effect repeats her position in still two more Adorations in the same museum. All three of those paintings in the Accademia have been catalogued as studio productions, one of which is even dated 1558, three years after the artist’s death.

Sir D.J. Tata Collection.


European Paintings


Studio of Bonifazio de’ Pitati Veronese (1487–1553)

Object Type

Oil Painting


Oil on Canvas




Oil painting






131 x 202 cm