Icon of the Hypapante (Presentation in the Temple)

Byzantine, 15th century
Wood panel with paint and gold leaf
Metropolitan Museum

This pictures the scene in Luke 2:21-32. After forty days have passed since the birth of Jesus his parents take him to the Temple, where they will offer two doves on his behalf. When they arrive Simeon recognizes him as "the Christ of the Lord." Left to right: St. Joseph, Anna the Prophetess, the Virgin Mary, and Simeon holding the Christ Child. Oddly, the doves are not in evidence.

The Temple is represented in an almost Cubist fashion. The canopy represents its interior while the exterior is represented by the two structures in the background. The Ark of the Covenant, holiest item in the Temple, is represented by the chest (in Latin arca) that sits between Mary and Simeon.

More of The Presentation in the Temple

Photographed at the museum by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.