The Journey Of The Magi

Wed 7th Dec 2011 at 2pm

Michael Howard

Michael Howard is Programme Leader of the School of the History of Art and Design at the Manchester Metropolitan University. He is also President of Bolton NADFAS and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. As well as being an art historian, he is a practising painter, printmaker and ceramicist. Michael has published widely on European art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, his books include: L. S. Lowry: A Visionary Artist, Van Gogh, Monet and Cézanne as well Upclose, the guide to the Manchester Art Gallery. He has exhibited at the Royal Academy and represented the U.K. at the 2006 Varna Art Biennale.

He and his wife the painter Ghislaine Howard run a studio Gallery in Glossop Derbyshire where they run week-end and one day courses. Michael is closely involved with Ghislaine’s major three-year project at York Minster – The Stations of the Cross.

‘A cold coming we had of it, just the worst time of the year for a journey, and such a long journey . . .’

This lecture will look at the depictions of the Magi as they made their way from their distant homelands towards the stable at Bethlehem. The story has been a popular one in art and literature and centres on the encounter of the human and the divine – youth and age, richness and poverty, knowledge and ignorance.

Reference will be made to artists as various as Gozzoli, Leonardo, Bosch and the French nineteenth century painter, James Tissot. There will be connections made to the Bible narrative, poetry, as in the famous poem by TS Eliot quoted above, fiction and film.


Suggested Reading

T.S. Eliot, “Journey of the Magi” poem first published August 25, 1927.

Hans Holzer, Journey of the Magi: The Truth About the Three Kings and the Historical Jesus, 2007

Paul William Roberts, Journey of The Magi: Travels in Search of the Birth of Jesus, 2006

Harry B Wehle, “The Journey of the Magi.”  In the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New ser., v. 3, no. 4 (December, 1944). New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1944.