This signed and dated painting is a mainstay in the corpus of Romanino’s works, and one of the best preserved. It is not documented by the sources until 1826 when it is mentioned in a guide to Brescia. So it is likely that it came originally from somewhere outside the city.
In fact, in 1529, the year it was painted, Romanino was in Salò to execute a picture with Saint Anthony of Padua (now in the cathedral), and so it is plausible that the Presentation in the Temple was realized for a client in this area of Lake Garda. The figures’ calm, devout gestures, the rigorous symmetry of the scene and the architectural background reflect an adherence to the compositional formulas of Moretto, who had become a fundamental point of reference in Brescian painting in those years. The glowing and brilliant colors, on the other hand, betray the influence of Venetian painting, while in some of the faces of the figures in the background it is possible to discern an interest in portraiture that harks back to Titian.
Mary and Joseph are over to the left, while a kneeling maidservant in the foreground brings the traditional Hebrew gift of two doves. A priest on the right holding the Christ Child on the altar is surrounded by a group of real people who are entirely convincing as genuine portraits.
AUTHOR Romanino (Gerolamo Romani)
OBJECT TYPE AND MATERIAL Oil on panel
DIMENSIONS cm 188 x 140
Work on display
Related artworks:By the same author In the same date/era In the same room
BRERA/MUSICA – Années de pèlérinage. Deuxième Année. Italie
Appunti per una resistenza culturale #18
Once upon a time in the library