While looking around for some inspirational Christmas pictures, I came upon this triptych. There was something that caught my eye in this oil painting. A king was represented as of African descent! This led me to do a little research.
Magi (wise men from the East), in the Gospel account of Christ’s birth, saw a new star and, believing it to be a divine omen, came to honor the one marked for future greatness. Ancient astronomers were astrologists, interpreting their observations of the heavens in relation to human affairs. The wise men were traditionally depicted as of different ages, and, by the Renaissance, the youngest was depicted as an African.
Pieter Coecke van Aelst (August 14, 1502 – December 6, 1550) was a Flemish painter is the creator of the “Adoration of the Magi”. Pieter Coecke traveled to Constantinople in 1533 to work for the Turkish Sultan. From this experience, he knew how to depict Near Easterners and Africans accurately. The altarpiece was commissioned by Elisabeth van Langenhove, according to the damaged inscription on the frame.
So much for the academics! Warm Christmas wishes to everyone!!! 🙂