Orthodox icon | Presentation of Jesus at the Temple | 24496


  • Typ: Russian icon
  • Age: around 1800
  • Size: 18.5 x 12 cm | 7.3 x 4.7 in


Orthodox icon | Presentation of Jesus at the Temple | 24496.

Religious tradition marks the 40th day after a male child’s birth as the “day of purification.” Observing this critical ritual, the mother presents a sacrificial offering. The icon captures this vividly, portraying Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ parents, presenting Him at the Temple.

They meet Simeon, the wise elder, and Hannah, the prophetess, at the Temple. Instant recognition flashes across their faces as they identify the divine infant Jesus as Israel’s long-awaited Redeemer and Savior. Simeon, overcome with reverence, cradles Jesus in his arms and starts singing a glorifying hymn. This encounter highlights a pivotal transition from the Old Testament era to the New Testament, ushered in by Jesus’ presence.

Tradition commemorates this impactful event with a feast day on February 2nd. The icon’s upper part showcases God the Father, pouring His divine blessing onto the scene below. An embellishing technique, poliment-gilding, enhances the icon’s border, infusing it with elegance and grandeur.

This feast day also goes by the name Candlemas in some Christian traditions, signifying Jesus’ presentation as the ‘light of the nations.’ Many view this event as the Christmas-Epiphany season’s climax. The hymn Simeon sings is the Nunc Dimittis, now a staple in many Christian denominations’ liturgical practices.

The poliment-gilding technique used on the icon, a throwback to medieval times, involves the application of bole (clay) and gold leaf to create a luminous finish, reflecting divine light.

Source: Orthodox icon | Presentation of Jesus at the Temple | 24496 © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved. For more information: “Das Synaxarion. Die Leben der Heiligen der Orthodoxen Kirche.” (http://www.prodromos-verlag.de/buecher.html) and Joachim Schäfer: Das Ökumenische Heiligenlexikon – https://www.heiligenlexikon.de

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Orthodox icon | Presentation of Jesus at the Temple | 24496
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