Master of Heilige Sippe (Holy Kinship)

German, active 1475–1510

Adoration of the Magi, c. 1525

tempera on panel

123.3 x 99.6 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Lord and Lady Gort



Painting, International Art

The story of the Magi or Wise Men visiting the Christ child was prophesied in the Old Testament book of Isaiah and then documented in the New Testament Gospel of Matthew. By the sixteenth century, the story had been embellished by artists and writers. Elevated to royal status, the Magi came to be referred to as kings who represented not only the three known continents of the world—Asia, Europe, and Africa—but also the three ages of mankind. This lavish scene celebrates the Epiphany, the revelation of Jesus’ divinity on earth. Twelve onlookers, including the kneeling Magi, all dressed in elegant robes, press forward to get a glimpse of the Christ Child, who is shown unclothed, resting in the lap of the Virgin Mother.

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