Plate 1

High Priest Refusing Joachim's Offering, c. 1490-1500


Bequest of Herschel V. Jonesexpand_more  P.68.222

Not on Viewexpand_more

This engraving is one of twelve plates in Israhel van Meckenem's Life of the Virgin series, dating about 1490-1500. Joachim, the father of Mary, made an offering at the temple prior to the birth of Mary. His offering was rejected by the high priest since only offerings of those who had fathered a child could be accepted. Joachim went into the wilderness to fast and pray for forty days and nights. As he was attending sheep in the mountains an angel appeared to him and advised him that Anne would soon give birth to a daughter. In this composition, the angel appears to Joachim in the upper left corner.

High Priest Refusing Joachim's Offering
Artist Life
c. 1445–1503
Accession Number
Brit. Museum Dupl., L.305; plus other marks HL & inscription unidentified.
Catalogue Raisonne
NGA 216; B.30; Holl. 50 iii/iiil L.IX.52.50 Lehrs 50
Curator Approved

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Plate 1