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Adoration of the Magi

A work made of engraving on paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving on paper.


1450–64, printed in the 18th century


Unknown Artist, possibly Florentine

About this artwork

Niello work, an ancestor of engraving, originated in the workshops of goldsmiths and armorers. Designs were often engraved on silver and then dusted with niello, a powdered metallic alloy. When heated, the enamel-like amalgam fused into the engraved lines. The surface of the metal was then polished, highlighting the black design. An artist could proof his work by rubbing ink into the lines and printing the design on dampened paper. This work was once attributed to the goldsmith Maso Finiguerra (1426-1464), the most famous niellist of his day. It is now thought to be an 18th­ century production based on earlier Florentine models, but it nonetheless conveys the jewel-like quality of Finiguerra’ s art.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Adoration of the Magi


Italy (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Engraving on paper


Sheet: 11.5 × 10.4 cm (4 9/16 × 4 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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