The Metropolitan Museum of Art has possessed the sculpture of the Three Magi offering their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh in its collection since 1951. The recent acquisition of the Virgin and Child has provided the Museum with the exceptional opportunity to reunite these sculptures, originally part of the large altarpiece dismantled in the early nineteenth century. Altarpieces depicting the Adoration of the Magi were widespread in Germany during the late Middle Ages, particularly following the city of Cologne’s acquisition of the Magi’s relics in 1164. It has been proposed that the first two Magi, Melchoir and Balthazar, might depict the Hapsburg emperor Maximilian I and his son, Philip.
Dr. Gustav Rau (Switzerland)(from 1950s or 60s–d. 2001); [ Lempertz Auction Gallery, Cologne(November 16, 2013, not 1385)]; [ Sam Fogg Ltd.(sold 2013)]
Cologne. Museum Schnütgen. "Die Heiligen Drei Könige: Mythos, Kunst und Kult," October 25, 2014–January 25, 2015.
Polleross, Friedrich. "Tradition and Innovation: Emperor Maximilian and his Portraits." In Emperor Maximilian I and the Age of Dürer, edited by Eva Michel, and Maria Luise Sternath. Munich: Prestel, 2012. p. 111.
Alte Kunst: Sammlung Rau für UNICEF II. Cologne: Kunsthaus Lempertz, November 16, 2013. no. 1385, pp. 264–65.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Forty-Fourth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 144 (2014). p. 45.
Beer, Manuela, and Moritz Woelk, ed. The Magi: Legend, Art and Cult. Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2014. no. 117, pp. 20, 292-93.
Guillot de Suduiraut, Sophie. Dévotion et séduction: Sculptures souabes des musées de France, vers 1460-1530. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2015. pp. 296 n. 19, 297.