The Magi at Monasterboice
Madam, – A topical question for the season: could any of your readers who are expert in these matters verify if the scene depicted on the south cross of Monasterboice, sculpted AD922, is the oldest representation of the nativity in stone in Ireland?
Mary sits on a low-backed chair and the three kings approach from the right, preceded by an apparently bearded angel. This was the traditional way of depicting the visit of the Magi in Byzantine art, with which Irish monks would have been familiar. – Yours, etc,