The Three Kings Visit Berlin

The Bode-Museum in Berlin is to receive John Flaxman’s exquisite marble relief with his depiction of the ‘Adoration of the Magi’ for a year as a loan from an English private collection. This relief, which has only just recently been ascribed as the work of the artist, is one of the few marble works he completed single-handedly and thus pays exceptional testament to his skill as an artist. John Flaxman (1755-1826), one of the most important proponents of English neoclassicism, was particularly influenced by the Italian Renaissance, a fact to which the relief containing the ‘Adoration of the Magi’ eloquently bears witness. For this reason, in a small, one-room show, two principle works of the Italian Renaissance, the ‘Adoration of the Magi’ by Masaccio from the Gemäldegalerie and Donatello’s ‘Pazzi Madonna’ from the Sculpture Collection will be placed alongside the relief by John Flaxman. Insights into how the relief came into being and the artist’s creative process are provided in the form of two drawings from the British Museum and a plaster relief from the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London.