Hidden treasures

Halley's comet in the Scrovegni Chapel

Historical Curiosities

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

Venice: Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the Serenissima

Big Names

Among the various Venetian female figures of the past, certainly one of the most interesting and, for many reasons also modern, was Ver...


Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...


Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...


Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...


Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...


Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...


Verona: The roman walls of Verona

Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...