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Los Reyes Magos

early 20th century Attributed to Hipolito Marte Martinez Born: 1866 Died: 1926 carved and painted wood 12 x 19 5/8 x 2 1/4 in. (30.5 x 49.8 x 5.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Teodoro Vidal Collection 1996.91.59 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 21B

Luce Center Label

The three Magi (Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar) followed the star of Bethlehem to visit the newborn Christ child. In Puerto Rico, Melchior is always represented with dark skin because, according to local tradition, the rays of a star burned him. Puertorriqueño children wait eagerly for the Feast of the Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 6 to commemorate the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem. They leave boxes of hay and bowls of water under their beds for the Magi's horses. It is like a second Christmas as they await the gifts that will be given to them.



Religion - New Testament - Magi

sculpture - relief