The Adoration of the Magi

Church of St. Michael, Taufers, Italy

The Magi arrive on the left and greet the Christ Child on the right. The senior mage kneels before him with his gift of a gold cup or basin. Behind him the others hold forth their gifts of frankincense and myrrh. The African mage wears a turban, as does a local standing at the gate of Bethlehem.

As always, Mary is seated with the child on her lap and St. Joseph behind her with an axe and a traveler's staff. Light streams onto the child from an unseen star in the sky. A young man or boy to the right of the inscription tondo is bringing the child a sheep. The shabby structure above the Holy Family may be influenced by the Golden Legend's statement that Jesus was born in a passageway between two houses that had "some overhead covering."

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