FLORENCE, ITALY – The unfinished Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi has emerged from a six-year restoration cleaner and brighter. It was unveiled at the Florence’s Uffizi Gallery by the museum’s director Eike Schmidt on Monday March 27, 2017.
The restoration was carried out by a team at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, a research and conservation institute of the Italian culture ministry directed by Marco Ciatti.
The large, nearly square oil painting returned to its home for a special exhibit starting Tuesday and running through September.
The Adoration of the Magi is an early painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo was given the commission by the Augustinian monks of San Donato a Scopeto in Florence, but departed for Milan the following year, leaving the painting unfinished. It has been in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence since 1670.
In the Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi, the Virgin Mary and Child are depicted in the foreground and form a triangular shape with the Magi kneeling in adoration. Behind them is a semicircle of accompanying figures, including what may be a self-portrait of the young Leonardo (on the far right). In the background on the left is the ruin of a pagan building, on which workmen can be seen, apparently repairing it. On the right are men on horseback fighting, and a sketch of a rocky landscape.
Owing to the painting’s unfinished status in 1481, the commission was handed over to Filippino Lippi, who painted another Adoration of the Magi, completed in 1496, in substitution of the one commissioned to Leonardo. It is housed in the Uffizi of Florence.