LIPPI, Fra Filippo
(b. 1406, Firenze, d. 1469, Spoleto)

Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate

c. 1445
Tempera on wood, 21 x 48 cm
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

The subject of this painting is recounted in the Golden Legend. Instructed by an angel, the outcast Joachim meets his wife, Anne, at the Golden Gate of Jerusalem, in recognition of the good news that, although barren for twenty years, she has conceived and will bear a daughter, Mary. Lippi shows the couple united by the angelic messenger. Behind Anne is a handmaiden, and at the far right paired deer and storks, or herons, inhabit the landscape, which is divided by a stream.

This picture doubtless formed part of a predella recounting the life of the Virgin. Probably the Annunciation in Munich was the altarpiece to which this panel belonged together with a Nativity in the National Gallery of Art, Washington and a lost third panel showing the Birth of the Virgin.