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Laib was a German painter who spent most of his career in Austria. Proof that he came to Salzburg at an early age is suggested by the stylistic affinity of many of his works with Salzburg painting, including this one.

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The Gospel of Matthew states that magi visited the infant Jesus to do him homage shortly after his birth (2:1–2:12). The gospel describes how magi from the east were notified of the birth of a king in Judaea by the appearance of his star. Guided by the Star of Bethlehem, the wise men found the baby Jesus in a house; Matthew does not say if the house was in Bethlehem. They worshiped him, and presented him with "gifts of gold and of frankincense and of myrrh." (2.11)

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