Andrea Mantegna: Adoration of the Magi
Painted for the Gonzaga Family of Mantua. The three kings, or Magi (from the Persian for "magician," represent the three continents known to the Medieval World, Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as the three ages of life: youth, maturity, and old age.
Melchior, the oldest (he has a large head symbolizing wisdom), represents Europe. He offers gold in a Chinese porcelain cup from the Ming Dynasty.
Balthazar has an olive complexion and dark beard, represents Asia and Maturity. He offers frankincense in a vessel of Turkish tombac ware.
Caspar represents Africa and youth. He offers myrrh in an urn of striped marble.
The Christ Child is posed to bless the Magi for their gifts.