This 16th century icon is a part of a celebrated set of festal icons showing important events in the life of Jesus plus a few other renowned feasts of the year. It was painted by George the Cretan for the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou on Mount Athos, and together they are known to be great examples of Post-Byzantine Greek iconographic art. This icon is the third of that set of icons.
The Presentation of Christ into the Temple is celebrated 40 days after His Birth. Drawn by Divine inspiration into the Temple, the Righteous Symeon, the God-Receiver, takes the Lord into his arms and asked to be released from the cares of his very long life “for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation…a light of revelation for the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel” (Luke 2: 30, 32). The Righteous Prophetess Anna has also come to behold Christ, while St. Joseph has brought two turtle doves as an offering in accordance with the prescriptions of the Law for the Virgin Mary’s first-born son. The Theotokos has her hands raised in prayer and supplication to her Son, Who although now appearing as an Infant, is also the Infinite and Everlasting God Himself.