Master of the Bamberg Altarpiece

The Meeting of Anna and Joachim at the Golden Gate
c. 1435
Germany, Nuremberg
oil on unidentified softwood panel
106.8 x 58.1 cm

Saint Anna, the mother of the Virgin Mary, first appears in an apocryphal gospel called the Protevangelium of Saint James, written in the middle of the 2nd century CE. However, it was not until the 12th century that the cult of Saint Anna grew in Northern Europe.1 It was at this time that questions surrounding the conception of the Virgin Mary started to inhabit the minds of medieval theologians, who could not reconcile the purity of the Virgin with the original sin that may have accompanied Mary’s birth.The focal point of Anna’s story in art thus became the miraculous conception of the Virgin Mary after Anna‘s inability to have children with Joachim for twenty years. This event was represented in art with the embrace between Anna and Joachim at the Golden Gate, after they were both told by an angel that Anna will become preganant with Mary.

Get updates about exhibitions, art fairs and events

Shopping Bag

No items found
Sam Fogg
Art of the Middle Ages