The Adoration of the Magi

The floor at the east end of King’s College Chapel has been lowered to enable Rubens painting, the ‘Adoration of the Magi’ to be displayed beneath the great East Window.

This powerful masterpiece was painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens in 1634 for the convent of the White Nuns at Louvain in Belgium, and was subsequently acquired by the Marquess of Lansdown when the Convent was suppressed in 1783. It came into the possession of the Grosvenor family and, in 1959, was sold at auction (for a the world record price). It was presented to the College in 1961 by the purchaser, Major A E Allnatt, who wished that it should again be an altar-piece in a great church.*

*From a guide to King’s College Chapel, Cambridge

18 Comments CherryPie on Dec 5th 2017

18 Responses to “The Adoration of the Magi”

  1. ....peter:) says:

    i agree with then lowering the altar Cherie… the celebrant would have an easier time to kneel down before this magnificent painting….peter:)

  2. Ayush says:

    it is a lovely painting and i like your framing below the stained glass, CP.

  3. Ginnie says:

    It truly is magnificent , Cherry. I love that someone had the foresight to give it a new home.

  4. The Yum List says:

    What a fantastic display for a fantastic painting.

  5. lisl says:

    I didn’t realise that this painting was here, Cherie

  6. Astrid says:

    This is fabulous and a great place for display. I just did a google and found out is quite big, I already thought so because of the scale with the candlesticks. (251 cm × 338 cm (99 in × 133 in) I can see why it was sold for that kind of money.

  7. I hope they don’t charge people money to see this masterpiece! ;)

  8. Hels says:

    How terrible when a world treasure goes into private hands and gets locked away so that only one family (and their friends) can see it. But how super that it was presented to the College by someone who wanted it to be an altar-piece that everyone could see. Rubens was a genius.