A PROFILE OF MAN REPRESENTING BALTHAZAR THE MAGUS

  


Germany

Circa 1700

 

Cork-oak

 

Measurements :

 

Height : 23”5/8 in.

Width : 14”9/16 in.

Depth : 9”7/8 in.

 

 

 

 

This sculpture representing a profile of Balthazar is astonishing by the work of the root of wood in particular on his hair and his face, but also by the charisma, which emerges.

This work presents a splendid solar medallion retained by a chain made up of crescents of the moon and stars, attributes of this king magus come from the African grounds to pay homage to Jesus. We can find his attributes in the work of the Maître de l’Adoration d’Utrecht, L’Adoration des Mages, preserved in the Archiepiscopal Museum in Utrecht (Pays Bas). The presence of star on his face is probably explained by the fact why Balthazar is that which shows star of Bethlehem to youngest Magus Gaspard.

Our profile was probably carried out to decorate a German cabinet of curiosity. The collector gathered within the boundary of their cabinet a microcosm, by making a place of amazement, contemplation and meditation. Beside Antiquities, he presented curiosities natural and exotic, ethnographic parts, objects monstrous or fabulous, joined together in order to have within reach of glance what came from the borders of the known world.

One often identifies the German cabinets with their taste for the most spectacular elements, whose our profile probably was a part.