Flask with the Adoration of the Magi


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300

The archangel Gabriel strides forward, dramatically leading the Three Wise Men bearing gifts for the Christ Child, who is seated in his mother's lap. The only text that describes the archangel as their guide is the Armenian Infancy Gospel, a popular early book elaborating on the Gospel descriptions of Christ's early life. The star that guides the magi to Bethlehem in the Gospel account (Matthew 2:1-12) appears over the Christ Child's head. Flasks like this may have been used as containers in a church. Depictions of the magi are frequently represented on early Byzantine art associated with pilgrimages.

Flask with the Adoration of the Magi, Silver, silver-gilt, Byzantine

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