Los Reyes Magos

Media - 1996.91.59 - SAAM-1996.91.59_1 - 64134
Copied Hipolito Marte Martinez, Los Reyes Magos, early 20th century, carved and painted wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Teodoro Vidal Collection, 1996.91.59
Free to use

Artwork Details

Los Reyes Magos
early 20th century
1219 582 14 in. (30.549.85.8 cm.)
Credit Line
Teodoro Vidal Collection
Mediums Description
carved and painted wood
  • Religion — New Testament — Magi
  • Equestrian
Object Number

Artwork Description

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.