The Presentation in the Temple

Alvaro Pirez Portuguese

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 537

In conformity with the Jewish rite of purification, forty days after giving birth Mary took Jesus to the Temple; the old prophetess Anna (holding a scroll) recognizes him as the redeemer of Israel. The panel is from the base (predella) of a complex altarpiece that was painted for a church in Pisa, perhaps about 1405–15. Its quality is superior to most of the paintings by Alvaro Pirez, a Portuguese painter active in Tuscany. Clearly, the artist knew the work of the leading painters in Florence, including Lorenzo Monaco, to whom the picture was once ascribed.

The Presentation in the Temple, Alvaro Pirez (Portuguese, Évora, active 1411–34 Italy), Tempera and gold on wood

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