The Presentation of Christ in the Temple
Leonard Bramer, Dutch (active Rome and Delft), 1596 - 1674
In this New Testament scene, the high priest of the Temple of Jerusalem holds the Christ child in his arms before the altar to perform the redemption of the firstborn, in obedience to the Law of Moses. The two priests at left rely on the open tomes in their laps to help officiate the service. It is a misconception that religious imagery disappeared after the onset of the Protestant Reformation in the Netherlands. Rather, religious scenes shifted from iconic images of religious figures to narrative subjects that illustrated specific episodes from the Bible.