Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)
Oil on canvas
90 x 60 inches
In August 2009 Jacqueline Banerjee contributed a color photograph that has replaced the black-and-white one kindly provided by the cathedral authorities in 1975.
This central panel representing an Adoration of the Magi is flanked by two representations of David, that on the left showing him as a boy, sling in hand, that on the right as crowned king. As the artist explained in a letter to Charles Eliot Norton written in 1858 when his conception of the triptych was taking form, he intended to paint "the Nativity; for the side pieces to which I have David as Shepherd and David as King — the ancestor of Christ, embodying in his own person the shepherd and king who are seen worshipping in the Nativity" [July 1858; Letters, I, 338].