Presentation in the TempleAccording to Mosaic law all first-born male children were to be taken to the temple to be presented to God whereupon a pair of doves or pigeons would be sacrificed. When Joseph and Mary came to the temple with the new-born Christ Child they encountered the aged priest Simeon, who recognised that the infant Jesus was the Son of God, and uttered the words, 'Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace'.
Also present was the prophetess Anna, who stayed in the temple and who told everyone who entered it about the Christ Child (Luke 2: 22-39). This episode is often conflated with that of the Circumcision.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN