CARRACCI, Lodovico
(b. 1555, Bologna, d. 1619, Bologna)

Presentation in the Temple

c. 1605
Oil on canvas, 122 x 92 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

In contrast to Caravaggio, who attracted many critics during his lifetime, the Carracci's classicism was extremely successful amongst aristocratic circles and produced a school with numerous followers. Annibale Carracci headed the workshop, which also included his gifted cousin Lodovico.

The scene in the Presentation in the Temple is subordinated to a geometric compositional order, marked out by the strict classical architecture of the background which structures the pictorial space into horizontal and vertical bands. The protagonists - the Virgin, the Infant Christ, the elderly Simeon stretching out his arms to the Child, the prophetess Anna with her prophecy inscribed on the marble tablet, and Joseph on the left - are arranged in an orderly way in the foreground with stately gestures and poses.