The Presentation In The Temple is a painting by the 15th century Renaissance artist, Fra Angelico. Created between 1450-1452, it is believed to have been one of the limited number of paintings directly associated with the artist. The artwork depicts the biblical story of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple as recounted in the Gospel of St. Luke. The figures of Saint Joseph, Mary, and high priest Simeon are seen in the foreground. The background reveals a number of architectural features including a marble balustrade, round columns and archways that display the artist’s attentiveness to perspective.
One of the notable pieces in the Dominican Convent of Saint Mark, Florence, Italy, the painting is a fresco that is over six and a half feet tall and over four feet wide. Angelico’s use of tempera and gold leaf highlights within the architecture and clothing textures enhance the painting’s rich appearance. The color blue, often appearing in Fra Angelico’s work, is abundant in this painting, set against a neutral background. The painting tells the story of the Infant Christ being presented to the temple in the arms of Mary, with Simeon receiving the child as a gift from God. It represents one of the most-recognized scenes in Christian art, being recreated by many artists throughout history.
The painting is significant to the art world for its skilled demonstration of the Renaissance’s use of perspective and naturalistic details. The painting’s delicate, ethereal quality is typical of Fra Angelico’s style, which was made up of small, distinct brushstrokes in which an emphasis was placed on light and realism. Fra Angelico’s excellent combinations of color and light brought the symbolic aspects of the subject to life, creating verisimilitude and inviting the onlooker to become further engaged with the religious story told through the painting.