Often, the Adoration of the Magi feature magi (magicians or wisemen) from the three continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe) to symbolize the spread of Christianity to the entire world. This example, from the Grolier Club in New York, may be representing Balthazar as African, according to the influential work of Paul Kaplan (The Rise of the Black Magus in Western Art).
This illumination is from a sixteenth century French manuscript: New York, Grolier Club, MS 10. The Grolier Club is private but its collections are open to the public.
Description: ff. ii (paper) + 71 + ii (paper) – Modern red velvet. – Arms of first owners: 1, azure a six-pointed star or between three crescents or; 2, gules a bend sable charged with three small cups (?) or. George Bruce collection; given to the Grolier Club in July 1894 by David Wolfe Bruce. – De Ricci, p. 1290.
Direct Link: http://ds.lib.berkeley.edu/MS10_24
Language: Latin; French Country: France Century: 16th