Giotto, The Angel Comes to Joachim in a Dream

Scrovegni Chapel, Padua

In chapter 3 of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew the angel visits Joachim twice with the same message. The first time, Joachim is in the fields with his sheep and the angel tells him to go down to Jerusalem and rejoin his wife Anne. But Joachim is not sure what this vision might mean, so he mulls it over. He then is taken by a deep sleep, in which the angel appears and again urges him to be on his way. He awakens and recounts his vision to his servants of his vision, and they also urge him to "rise and let us go hence."

The fresco illustrates the mountains far from Jerusalem where the text says Joachim was residing with his shepherds at the time. The one with the hood will reappear in the next fresco in the series, entering from the left side of the frame as the couple embraces in Jerusalem.

Read more about images of St. Joachim.

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