Temple Gallery

Established 1959

Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple - exhibited at the Temple Gallery, specialists in Russian icons

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YY013. Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple

Greece or Macedonia
Circa 1600
39 x 22.5 cmClick here to convert metric size to imperial

£3,500Click here to convert price to USD or EUR

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In the foreground the Mother of God and her parents Saints Joachim and Anna stand in front of columned arches representing the architecture of the Jerusalem Temple and are shown gesturing towards Zacharias the High Priest (on our far left wearing an oriental hat, the Byzantine painter’s idea of the Jewish ceremonial attire). Mary is shown stepping towards the throne with her arms raised towards Zachariah in the language of iconic symbolism as opposed to the western idea that pictures tell stories. Although diminutive in size she appears as a mature woman. Zachariah stands just in front of a tall domed green baldachin, which represents an altar – the Byzantine representation of the sanctuary in the Jerusalem Temple. To the right of the scene - behind Joachim and Anna - are the Temple Virgins in blue and red garments holding lighted tapers. The lost part of the left side of the panel would have shown the seven-stepped stairway, described in the apocryphal Protevangelium of James (8),[1] at the top of which Mary is seen attended by an angel – part of the angel’s wing and vestments can still be seen in the top left corner.

Macedonian, 17th century, Museum of Macedonia, Skopje, Macedonia

1. The whole text is published online at: