The Adoration of the Magi
Oil on copper, 28.9 x 21.9 cm
The camel depicted at the upper left was often added to renderings of the Adoration of the Magi. The animal in this work has a strong resemblance to the camel depicted in the book Historiae animalium dating from 1551-58 and 1587 by Conrad Gesner (1516-1565), which was well-known in Europe at the time. The painter of this work on copper had likely never seen a live camel and possibly made use of a copy of a copy of the camel depicted in the book by Gesner. With each subsequent reproduction something was added or lost – resulting in the especially exotic looking camel depicted in this painting.