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The Star of the Magi

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.

Date:

c. 1616

Artist:

Jan van de Velde II
Dutch, c. 1593-1641

About this artwork

Here Jan van de Velde the Younger engraved the earliest known print of so-called star-singers on Twelfth Night. This secular celebration mimicked the journey of the Three Magi, or kings, who followed the miraculous star of Bethlehem to the infant Christ. Popular in the 17th-century Dutch Republic, this Epiphany festival, held on January 6, grew beyond the church. It consisted of two parts: an indoor family feast crowning a king chosen by lottery, and a nighttime parade of singers carrying a candle-lit star from door to door. Unlike the generous Magi, the singers demanded gifts as they progressed, illuminated by their glowing paper star.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Jan van de Velde, II

Title

The Star of the Magi

Place

Holland (Artist's nationality)

Date

Made 1611–1621

Medium

Engraving in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

16.3 × 21.6 cm (6 7/16 × 8 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Langdon Pearse

Reference Number

1954.87

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/80187/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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