The Adoration of the Magi

12th century
South transept, Old Cathedral, Salamanca, Spain

The most unusual feature of this relief is the angel on the left, swinging a censer and wearing a sort of embroidered alb. On the right the Magi offer gifts to the Christ Child and receive blessing from him. Typically for this period, they are pictured as an old man in a long beard, a young one with no beard, and a man of middle age with a short beard.

In the center Jesus is pictured as a boy well past infancy standing on his mother's lap and wearing a regal gown. On her head Mary has both the traditional palla and the crown that was becoming a feature of her portrayal in twelth-century Magi images.

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More of The Magi

Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.