Having been taken to the Temple at the age of 12, the child Jesus was discovered a few days later debating learnedly with the scholarly theologians there (Luke 2:41).

The picture is sometimes thought to be the adult Christ disputing with the Pharisees, on the grounds that his age seems to be more than 12 years.

It was formerly ascribed to Leonardo, and may derive from an original design by him. It is known in numerous versions, some of a quality comparable to this, and the composition was enormously famous.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
about 1480 - 1532
Full title
Christ among the Doctors
Date made
probably about 1515-30
Medium and support
Oil on poplar
Dimensions
72.4 x 85.7 cm
Acquisition credit
Holwell Carr Bequest, 1831
Inventory number
NG18
Location in Gallery