The Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph consecrated the baby Christ to God in the Temple of Jerusalem 40 days after his birth, in accordance with Jewish laws concerning purity and firstborn sons. Joseph brings a sacrifice of doves, the priest Simeon receives Christ on an altar, and the prophetess Anna holds a candle—a reference to the liturgical celebration of this event as Candlemas. An unusual detail is the angel who stands behind Mary. He witnesses her miraculous virgin pregnancy and connects the scene to the consecration of bread and wine as Christ's body and blood in the Christian Mass, at which event angels were believed to flock the altar. This is an appropriate addition insofar as The Presentation is a fragment of a larger, lost altarpiece. The artist's abstractly elegant International Gothic style was inspired by the works of Gherardo Starnina, whose Music-Making Angel is also on this wall. source 

This image is in the public domain.

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