Prophecy of the Sibyl of Tibur

ca. 1470

Mixed technique on oakwood
Inv. No. 1068

68.9 × 85.7 cm

zur  Biographie

The Sibyl of Tibur interprets a celestial phenomenon for the Roman emperor Augustus as presaging the birth of Jesus Christ. This scene has been regarded from the earliest times as a Western counterpart to the Adoration of the Magi from the East: West and East pay homage to the newborn Christ Child. The “Master of the Tiburtine Sibyl” (named after this painting) emphasises the timeless significance of the event by setting it in a Netherlandish inner courtyard and dressing the actors in costumes of his time. The painting was begun in the workshop of Dieric Bouts and only completed by the anonymous artist, as shown by numerous changes, some of which can even be seen with the naked eye.

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