Leonardo da Vinci’s celebrated Adoration of the Magi, painted in 1481 in the artist’s early years, has finally come home. After six years undergoing restoration at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, the city’s premier restoration institute, the Renaissance painting was returned to the Uffizi Gallery in the early hours of Friday, under the watchful eyes of the Carabinieri and the Uffizi’s director Eike Schmidt. “Everything went well,” Schmidt commented, “the painting was transferred successfully.”
The painting is currently waiting to be installed in the upcoming exhibition, Il cosmo magico di Leonardo da Vinci: l'Adorazione dei Magi restaurata, opening next Tuesday, March 28. The Adoration will take center stage in the show, alongside the similarly themed work by Filippino Lippi, who was called upon to paint his own Adoration when da Vinci abandoned his piece to move to Milan. The side-by-side display will highlight the political and cultural changes that took place in Florence in the little more than 10 years between the two works and how they influenced the execution of each piece.