Author: Cordt Meyer (Cordt Meyer, ?–1703)
Date: contract July 17, 1689, 1690 (?)
Material: wood, oil paints
Technique: oil painting
Restoration: 2022. Dace Pāže, Irbe Grīnberga
On January 6, the Western Christian Church celebrates Star Day. On this day, three wise men from the east came to greet the new-born baby Jesus. (Matthew 2: 1-12) So the Son of God was revealed to nations other than the Jews.
In the Riga Cathedral, the events related to the birth of Jesus are shown in two places – in a stained-glass window, where Mary and the child of Jesus are depicted, and in a small passage in the entrance to the cross-road gallery, where the visit of the Magi men is depicted.
” When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2: 10-11)
This painting was made in 1689. It was part of a larger order placed by the Cathedrals administration for Cord Meier, the elder of the painter’s guild. Within the framework of this order, he painted the Dome choir, vaults, singers’ lantern, wind vane, as well as doors, windows, shutters and black-painted boards with red lines for the needs of the Cathedrals school. To this day, from the large amount of Cord Meier’s works only painting is survived. The others were destroyed in 1786.
Cord Meyer (? –1703) Painter and Artist. Entered Riga from Lüneburg (Germany) in 1667. Meier acquired the rights of a citizen of the city of Riga in 1672. He later became a painter’s Guilds senior. The master has worked in several citizens’ houses and in the largest churches of the city – St. Peter, St. St. John’s Church and the Cathderal, to which his name has been associated since 1679.
The painting depicts three wise men from the East who have come to worship the new-born Christ. The three wise men of the East are kneeling in front of the Virgin Mary holding the new-born Christ. In the foreground, an older man with grey hair and a beard holds a vessel in his outstretched hands, which he gives to the Virgin Mary. Next follows a kneeling man with youthful features with dark hair and a beard. On his head is a golden crown, on his back is a greenish robe, over which is thrown a red cloak. Of the third man, only the head with an oriental headdress is visible.