2.127 The Presentation in the Temple
18th c., 1st half
Wood, egg tempera, 68 x 47.5 cm
On the right, Simeon bends low, holding the infant Christ. Before him stands the Virgin - with the inscription 'Mother of God' above her head - and behind her the prophetess Anna carrying an open scroll inscribed with the words: 'This small babe hath made fast heaven and earth.' Behind her is Joseph with his offering of two pigeons in a cage. Between Simeon and the Virgin appear the altar and its ciborium, and the gold background of the composition is filled in with tall buildings. Between these is an inscription in red lettering: 'The Presentation of Christ'.
The representation reproduces an iconographical format known from Cretan wall paintings on Mount Athos (Millet 1927, pl. 119.5, 222.3), with features, such as the pose and the figure of Simeon and Joseph, that occur in works of the so-called Macedonian School (Millet 1927, pl. 10.3).
The icon was probably painted in the first half of the eighteenth century in an Athonite workshop which, as was the custom then, particularly on Mount Athos, based its work on earlier models (Chatzidakis 1975 (2), pp. 246ff. Tsigaridas 1994 (1), pp. 315ff.).