The dream of the Magi

Sant Albans Psalter, S. 26

In this full-page miniature the three Magi do not personify the Kings, rather the three ages: the youngest appears without a beard, the medial with a brown beard and the oldest is gray-haired. The last one occupies the most privileged place: the part closest to the viewer. It also does so in a peculiar way, since it is the only one that appears with bare feet, feet that even overlap with the golden frame of the image.

Here one can also see an angel who appears behind the bed of the three Kings. Indeed, the angel leans towards them to wake them up with the left arm and emphasize his speech with the right. Within the strict symmetry of this illustration composed of simple elements, the wings of the angel achieve a surprising effect: they join the attic window and act as an “echo” of the upper part of the roof, which rises towards the sky through the last row of arcs.

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