Ex Convento de San Andrés Apóstol en Epazoyucan
Adoration of the Kings
The Former Monastery of San Andrés Apóstol in Epazoyucan safeguards both pre-Hispanic and colonial heritage. The Altarpiece Gallery displays four very fine paintings. The “Adoration of the Kings,” or “Epiphany” is a highlight. The text explains that according to the New Testament, wise men guided by signs from heaven searched for the birthplace of Jesus so that they could worship Him. The gifts of gold, myrrh and incense represented respectively: the royal lineage of Christ, his human quality because he anointed the bodies of the deceased, and His divine quality because smoke and fragrance were offered to the gods. The Epiphany was the first appearance of Jesus before men, and was an event often represented in the art of New Spain. The very beautiful work shows a group of people, most notably the Virgin and the Child in the center, the three Magi from the East and the shepherds. The architectural features frame and emphasize the principal personage. According to tradition Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar had an age gap of twenty years between each, Melchior was 60 while Balthazar was 20. The latter represents the continent of Africa, and hence he is black, although initially he had been represented as a white man. The other two represent Europe and Asia. The painting is unsigned and dates from the eighteenth century.