Adoration of the Magi, 1830
After Jan van Eyck's painting
Lithograph mounted on pasteboard. 560 x 620 mm
Inventory number: E1280
Works, relating to this work: Jan van Eyck, Adoration of the Magi, central panel painting from the Columba Alterpiece, 1455, Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany, Inv.no. WAF 1189Enlarge photo
Altogether 117 lithographs in Thorvaldsens Museum (inv. nos. E1200-E1316) are based on paintings in what was the brothers Melchior (1786-1851) and Sulpiz (1783-1854) Boisserée’s private art collection in Stuttgart. These lithographs reflect the great interest the brothers had in older German and Netherlandish art. They were very concerned that the nationalisation of church property then taking place meant that even the most outstanding works of art in the churches were sold. So they themselves bought these works of art. The Adoration of the Magi, which is part of the very famous St. Columba Altarpiece, had been purchased by the brothers in 1808. This was clearly by far the most important piece in their collection.
The Boisserée brothers also met Thorvaldsen – presumably in Frankfurt in 1819, when the Danish artist was on his way from Rome to Copenhagen. When Boisserée invited Strixner to visit him the following year, however, Boisserée had settled in Stuttgart. And it was immediately after this visit that Strixner was able to start on the work of making the 117 lithographs. They were made consecutively in the years between 1821 and 1840. Ludwig I of Bavaria acquired most of this collection in 1827, and it is now in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich.