Master of the St. Bartholomew Altarpiece, The Meeting of the Three Kings, with David and Isaiah

Before 1480
Oil and gold leaf on panel
The Getty Center
Produced in the Netherlands.

On the bottom left David holds a scroll that identifies him (as does his gold crown with fleurs-de-lys) and quotes from Psalm 71:10: Reges Tharsis et insulae munera offerent reges Arabiae et Saba dona adducent, "The kings of Tarshish and the islands will offer treasures; the kings of Arabia and Sheba will bring gifts." The psalm's second verse identifies the one to whom these gifts will be brought: "O God, give judgment to the king and your justice to the son of the king." The Christian take on this is that the "son of the king" is Jesus and that the psalm prophesies the journey of the Magi with their gifts.

On the bottom right the figure's scroll identifies him as Isaiah ("ysais") and quotes from Isaiah 60:14: Et adorabunt vestigia pedum tuorum, "And [those who used to slander you] will adore the footprints of your feet." The 6th verse of the chapter also mentions Sheba and says the nations will come on camels bearing gold for Zion, further details used by Christian interpreters who saw in this chapter a prophecy of the Magi.

More of the Magi

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