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Luca Giordano
Naples, 1634-1705
The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, 1680s
Oil on canvas.
According to The Golden Legend, a famous late medieval collection of apocrypha, when Joachim and Anna brought the three-year-old Virgin to the Temple, she ascended its stairs unassisted. Giordano, an incredibly prolific and seemingly effortless painter, rendered this subject on numerous occasions. Especially fluid in movement, warm in palette, and loose in brushwork, this version, is characteristic of his late activity in Naples. Giordano’s exuberance, bravura, and reconciliation of robust naturalism with vibrant decoration exerted tremendous influence throughout Italy, and later in Spain.