Domenico Ghirlandaio, Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple

1486-90
Fresco
Tornabuoni Chapel, Church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence

In this episode from the Golden Legend and its sources Joachim's "offering" is rejected because he has not fathered a child in his twenty years of marriage and is therefore considered unclean. None of the texts specify what is offered, but in Ghirlandaio's fresco, as in Giotto's, it is a lamb. In this image, the humiliation that Joachim laments in the texts is emphasized by the acceptance of lambs offered in the background. Perhaps the humiliation is intensified by the fact that one of the offered lambs is black and dead while another is being brought by women.

More of St. Joachim

Source: Wikimedia Commons