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The Adoration of the Magi, from a Mirror of Holiness (Mir’at al-quds) of Father Jerome Xavier

The Adoration of the Magi, from a Mirror of Holiness (Mir’at al-quds) of Father Jerome Xavier

1602-1604

Part of a set. See all set records

Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper

Sheet: 26.3 x 15.6 cm (10 3/8 x 6 1/8 in.); Image: 22.7 x 12.2 cm (8 15/16 x 4 13/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2005.145.7

Fun Fact

The books next to newborn Jesus indicate that his birth fulfills a prophecy.

Description

In this Nativity scene, familiar in Christian contexts, Mary and Joseph present the infant Jesus to the three Magi, who have placed their crowns on the ground in homage to the King of Kings. The three Magi are portrayed in Portuguese costumes to indicate to a Mughal audience that they are foreigners who believed in Christ. The artist cleverly and humorously indicates that the Magi have just arrived in Bethlehem by depicting their three camels in the bottom corner. One exhausted camel’s tongue hangs out the side of his mouth, while the other two animals lean eagerly toward a pair of water jugs.

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