Black Book of Hours, Flanders (Bruges) ca 1460

New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M 493, fol. 58v

In our miniature of the Adoration the use of a black ground is instrumental in shading the nocturnal scene that takes place in front of a grey-blue barn, while its interior disappears in the dark. The only irradiating source of light is in the star above which guided the three Magi to the place. It makes the outlines emerge in different places such as in the landscape of the green trees, the dark bridge over the greenish, flashing river and in the yellow ochre of the otherwise dark brown castle. Only a few additional colours are used: predominating is again the dense blue colour with flashing gilt lines.