The altar “Adoration of the Magi” is one of the most beautiful altars of the Northern Renaissance. The scene of the worship of the Child and Madonna Durer has always sought to show on a bright sunny day. The dull colors of the night and the vagueness of the dawn seemed to the artist unsuitable for such a solemn moment. He also liked to portray the Holy Family, the Magi and shepherds against the backdrop of the picturesque ruins of a fantastic ancient city.
Magus among the peoples of the Ancient East – a wise man who knew the secret forces of nature, watching the movement of the stars, predicting
In the Gospel the names of the Magi are not indicated, but according to tradition they are called Balthasar, the lord of treasures, Yasper is white and Melchior is the king of light. The first of them brought a gift of gold to Jesus as a symbol of royal power; the second is incense in recognition of his divinity, the third is myrrh, which was used in embalming, as a prophetic indication of the martyr’s death that was awaiting Christ. On their way to Bethlehem the Magi were guided by the unusually bright star they saw in the east, which was called the Bethlehem star.
He went down on his knees before Christ, the eldest of the Magi, Yasper. He carefully examines the child reaching out to him. Balthasar and Melchior standing in the background are exchanging glances. They have come a long way, following the guiding star; they brought gifts to the new King of the Jews, but something embarrasses these wise men. Vague doubts embrace them at the sight of a woman in simple clothes. Another second, and the Magi will kneel before the Savior, but in the picture of Durer it is a moment of hesitation, a moment of doubt.