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Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple image

Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple
Gospel Lectionary, in Latin
Austria, Salzburg, Abbey of St. Peter, ca. 1050
267 x 210 mm
William S. Glazier Collection; deposited in 1963, given in 1984; MS. G.44 (fol. 2)
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

This book of readings for the Mass is one of three important eleventh-century Salzburg manuscripts in the Morgan that illustrate the transition from Ottonian to Romanesque styles. The book opens with two presentations: the book to St. Peter and Joachim and Anna Present the Virgin in the Temple. The latter, an early example of an apocryphal subject in a Western liturgical book, comes from the Infancy Gospel ascribed to James. The nude thorn extractors on the columns recall the Roman statue of Spinario, then regarded as an image of Priapus; the women at the bases recall the barren women who embraced Simeon Stylites's column for fertility. Such details allude to Anna's miraculous conception of the Virgin, for she remained barren well into old age.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.