La présentation de Jésus au Temple (1886-1894)

Tissot, James (1836-1902)

La présentation de Jésus au Temple (The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple)
Watercolor on paper, 22.2 x 15.2 cm
Brooklyn MuseumNew York

Forty days after the birth of Jesus, the Holy Family travels to Jerusalem to initiate the child into the service of God at the Temple and to offer a modest sacrifice: the caged pigeons or turtledoves held here by Joseph. Taking the infant into his arms, the aged priest Simeon acknowledges the child as the Christ, or Messiah.

Throughout his commentaries, Tissot refers to both historical and modern sources to demonstrate his extensive knowledge of the Temple precinct in ancient Jerusalem. He locates the Presentation at the top of the steps that led to the altar of burnt sacrifice. Further, he takes to task the sixteenth-century Venetian painter Tintoretto, one of his most illustrious art-historical predecessors, for inaccurately rendering the stairway, instead insisting very specifically on a shallow rise for the individual steps, as documented by the historical writers he consulted. (BkM)

See also:

• Jerusalem (Israel)