King Herod and the Magi

13th century
Manuscript illumination
MS. Bern Bibliothek, Cod. 27, fol. 210v

In Matthew 2:1-3 the Magi arrive in Jerusalem with their gifts and ask King Herod about "the newborn king of the Jews." The huge sword and the devil at Herod's ear refer to Herod's intention to put this child, whoever he is, to death.

Even given the small space and simple style, the artist manages to make the Magi represent the three ages of man, with the eldest asking the question and the youngest standing behind.

More of the Magi

Source: e-Codices