Hidden treasures

Halley's comet in the Scrovegni Chapel

Historical Curiosities
cometa-halley-scrovegni

Halley's comet in the Scrovegni Chapel

The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua is certainly one of the most incredible places of Western art! Inside it, you can admire the magnificent frescoes that the Florentine painter Giotto created at the beginning of the 14th century, depicting stories of the life of the Virgin and Christ and the Last Judgment on the counter-façade.

In the upper central tier - on the right hand-side wall looking towards the altar - we find the Adoration of the Magi. The Three Wise Men have come to the child, following the comet star seen at the top: the scene takes place under a scaffolding and the Magi wear red sandals, a symbol of royalty.

The first and eldest king is kneeling and has laid his crown on the ground and his gift is probably the golden reliquary held by the angel on the right. The second king, also in his later years, carries a horn full of incense. The youngest bears a cup whose lid he has lifted to show the myrrh ointment contained inside it.

Some details are related to the daily life of the 14th century, such as the 'modern' structure of the hut or the shape of the clothes, like the one worn by the angel with a sleeve narrow at the wrists and wide at the elbows.

For the comet star depicted at the top - which guided the Three Magi Kings - Giotto apparently drew inspiration from the Comet of Halley, which he saw during its passage in the sky in 1301-1302.

In selected dates the Scrovegni Chapel opens its doors even in the evening, to allow visitors to enjoy the magic of this extraordinary place even beyond the normal daytime opening hours. Check the availability for evening visits to the Scrovegni Chapel and choose to conveniently book online: places are limited!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Treviso: The curious legends about the origin of Treviso Red Chicory

radicchio_CC.Mon CEil
Did you know that...

Did you know that, according to an ancient popular saying, red chicory (radicchio as it is known in Italy) seems to have been born as a...

View

Venice: Acqua Alta: when a normal phenomenon becomes tragic

Acqua-alta-a-Venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that ‘Acqua Alta’ is an expression of Venetian dialect used by its inhabitants to describe the high tides that occur p...

View

Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

restauro-adamo-eva-ducale
Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...

View

Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?

contare-le-pecore
Figures of speech

It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...

View

Top posts

Venice: The red lights of St Mark’s Basilica in memory of the poor ‘fornareto’

il_fornareto
Mysteries & Legends

If you find yourself wandering around St Mark’s Basilica in the evening, take a look at its southern façade ... you will notice two ...

View

Treviso: Why is Prosecco wine called precisely Prosecco?

colline-del-prosecco
Did you know that...

On 7 July 2019, Veneto and the whole of Italy toasted to the Prosecco Hills, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The World Heritage Commi...

View

Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

spritz-veneziano
Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....

View

Belluno: The mystery of the Pietrificatore from Sospirolo

pietrificatore
Mysteries & Legends

Nestled inside the Dolomiti National Park, in the province of Belluno lies the small village of Sospirolo. A peculiar man was born here...

View