Accademia Gallery, Venice
About a century later, with respect to the triptych by Vivarini, and between 1534 and 1539 Titian painted the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple. It was an episode belonging to a series of paintings about the life of the Virgin Mary.
This work of art, as we have said before, is no longer placed in the original spot. On the right side of the room there was a door the painter had to take into account in his conception of the work, while the opening on the left was created later (thus eliminating part of the canvas).
The horizontal direction of the wall has influenced the artist, who seems to pay homage to the tradition of Venetian narrative paintings particularly represented by Vittore Carpaccio while, concerning the architectural environment, Titian shows he is perfectly up-to-date with the examples by Sansovino and Sebastiano Serlio.
At the foot of the stairs leading up to the temple, stairs that a very young-looking Virgin Mary is climbing surrounded by beams of light, we can notice a torso of an ancient statue on the right, while on the left there is an old woman with a basket of eggs: symbols respectively of the pagan and of the Jewish cultures that are dominated by the figure of the Virgin Mary.
At the foot of the staircase, in addition to Joachim and Anna, it is possible to observe a series of characters wearing contemporary clothes: they are the most senior members of the Scuola that Titian painted wearing their ceremonial clothes. The story from the Gospel unfolds solemn and calm, revived by the warm and sumptuous colors typical of the artists.
But the most surprising thing is certainly the broad view in the background in which the sky is being crossed by buffy white clouds while high mountains fade away in the distance. it is a very personal description of the Palestine that seems here to pay tribute to the beloved peaks of Cadore. Illuminated as it is in a realistic way by the light coming from the left, where the window is placed, it is a landscape of breath-taking beauty that anticipates the increasingly important role of the landscape within the composition, which will characterise the following century.