(b. ca. 1425, Urbino, d. 1484, Urbino)

The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple (detail)

Tempera and oil on wood
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Instead of the traditional Jewish priest officiating at the event, Fra Carnevale places three figures at the high altar, apparently a Franciscan, a Dominican and a hooded figure - while two pilgrims are seen against the right-hand entrance pier. The remaining figures in the church are exclusively young males who chat, rest, or walk about.

This panel - together with another representing the Birth of the Virgin, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York - formed part of a highly original altarpiece commissioned in 1467 for the Church of Santa Maria della Bella at Urbino. In both works, the mature artist reveals himself to be a learned scholar well-versed in the vocabulary of architecture.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.