Life of Christ (Presentation of Jesus in the Temple)
Artist: Giotto; Fresco painting; 200x185 cm, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua.
The frescoes painting were painted between 1303 and 1305, It is still in a good state of preservation, the recently restored paintings are one of Giotto's finest achievements, in this painting Giotto shows himself not just to be a master of composition, but also an excellent colorist. The scene represented here is based on a passage in the Gospel according to Luke. On the left St. Joseph is holding the turtledoves or pigeons to be offered in sacrifice. Jesus is in the arms of Simeon, who has been told by the Holy Spirit that he will see Christ before he dies: the elderly priest of the temple recognizes him as the Savior and communicates this to his mother. On the right is the prophetess Anna, who also recognizes the Child as the bringer of Redemption. The inscription on the scroll she holds alludes to the Child's destiny: Giotto pays to the emotional side of the story and the way that the Child is wriggling in Simeon's arms in an effort to return to his mother, who is stretching out her arms to take him. The priest is holding Christ with his hands covered, an already established iconographic feature that is in keeping with liturgical precepts underlining the sacredness of the gesture of anyone coming into direct contact with Christ. Giotto's ability to tell a story was much superior to that of his predecessors.
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