REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn
(b. 1606, Leiden, d. 1669, Amsterdam)

Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

Oil on panel, 61 x 48 cm
Mauritshuis, The Hague

Catalogue number: Bredius 543.

The painting is a major work dating from the end of Rembrandt's Leiden period. A feature of his style at this time (1630-31) is a liking for elongated figures, diagonal compositional lines and mysterious, cavernous spaces. In the present scene, Joseph and Mary are in the temple to dedicate their newborn baby Jesus to God, where the child is recognised by Simeon as the long-awaited Messiah. The old man takes him in his arms and bursts into a song of praise. The divine light that floods Simeon appears to be shining from the child himself.