Twelve year old Jesus in the Temple (c.1494 – 1497) by Albrecht Durer

Twelve year old Jesus in the Temple - Albrecht Durer - c.1494 - 1497

Artwork Information

TitleTwelve year old Jesus in the Temple
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Datec.1494 - 1497
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Twelve year old Jesus in the Temple

The artwork “Twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple” is a creation by Albrecht Dürer, dated between circa 1494 and 1497, and belongs to the Northern Renaissance art movement. It is categorized as a religious painting and is part of “The Seven Sorrows of Mary” series. The painting portrays the biblical scene of the young Jesus engaging with the scholars in the Temple of Jerusalem, which is an episode often depicted in Christian art.

The scene is set inside a temple where Jesus, depicted as a serene, haloed youth, sits elevated among a group of older men. He is shown in the center, reading from a scroll, symbolizing the sharing of his wisdom. The characters around Jesus represent various reactions; they appear fascinated, questioning, and contemplative as they engage with him or among themselves. Notably, one figure is in a scholarly pose with his hand on his forehead, possibly denoting deep thought or bafflement at Jesus’ knowledge.

In the foreground, distinct from the religious discourse, a monkey is chained to the steps, possibly representing the secular world or human folly in contrast to the divine wisdom being imparted above. The detailed facial expressions, gestures, and attire of the characters all contribute to a lively representation of this significant event in Christian tradition, showcasing Dürer’s intricate style and his capacity to imbue a narrative with both spiritual and human elements.

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