GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)

No. 1 Scenes from the Life of Joachim: 1. Rejection of Joachim's Sacrifice

Fresco, 200 x 185 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

The elderly Joachim is denied entry to the temple, as he has remained childless. The architecture reinforces the priest's gesture of rejection, to which the saint replies with a saddened look. The sheep, as a sacrificial animal that has become superfluous, has a particularly touching effect.

The rejection of Joachim's sacrifice and his expulsion from the Temple occurred because of his childlessness. Here we are dealing with a true opening picture: the closed architecture of the temple introduces the first idea of solidity, while Joachim's dual movement brings this scene to a close, on the one hand, and on the other paves the way for the rest of the series, which finds a premature conclusion in the last picture of this register, the Meeting at the Golden Gate.

The action is also driven forward by the repetition of buildings. Thus the temple of the opening picture reappears in the fresco Presentation of Christ at the Temple.