TIZIANO Vecellio
(b. 1490, Pieve di Cadore, d. 1576, Venezia)

Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple (detail)

1534-38
Oil on canvas
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The young Mary is dressed in a shining blue silk dress and is surrounded by a golden aureole as she climbs the steps of the temple, unaided, in an erect, dignified way that indicates, even at the age of three, what her future role will be. The gleaming dress, the golden light surrounding her, and the opulent marble columns behind her give the figure of Mary an aura of preciousness that is further emphasized by the sharp contrast with the ugly old farmer's wife in the foreground.