Master of the Saint Barbara Legend (Netherlandish, active late 15th century)
Oil on wood
Each panel 36 3/4 x 17 5/8 in. (93.3 x 44.8 cm)
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931 (32.100.56a)
This panel is the inside wing of a folding altarpiece and originally flanked an Adoration of the Magi (Galleria Colonna, Rome). The Old Testament narrative represented here prefigures the story of the Magi bearing gifts to the infant Christ. The men portrayed in the foreground, probably members of a guild, lay confraternity, or civic group, may have died in the plague of 148990, which would account for the crosses they hold.