Adoration and Dream of the Three Magi

Scenes from the Childhood of Christ

The Oscott Psalter, exceptionally copious in its decoration, is named after the place where it was kept during the 19thcentury: St Mary’s College in Oscott near Birmingham.

The miniature page fol. 9v, The Adoration and the Dream of the Three Magi is a typical and beautiful example of the arrangement of scenes from the Life of Christ: The two middle roundels underlaid by gold and encircled by coloured frames are connected by cut-out pieces of ornament. The main scenes depicted here illustrate the passages in the Gospel after St Matthew II, 1-12): The Three Magi, having followed their star, have arrived at the place where Mary is sitting on a throne like seat with young Jesus on her lap. They worship him, ready to offer their precious gifts: gold, incense and myrrh. The semicircles to the right and left of the main pictures present two scenes from the Old Testament. God carries the creature of his own image, Adam, into Paradise, where trees are growing and (right side) God creates Eve, the mother of mankind.

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