National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Joachim and the Beggars Andrea di Bartolo (artist)
Sienese, active from 1389 - died 1428
Joachim and the Beggars, c. 1400
tempera on panel
overall: 44.2 x 32.6 cm (17 3/8 x 12 13/16 in.) framed: 48.3 x 36.8 x 4.1 cm (19 x 14 1/2 x 1 5/8 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1939.1.43
Not on View
From the Tour: Painting in Siena in the 14th and Early 15th Centuries
Object 4 of 10

As devotion to the Virgin increased in the late Middle Ages, so did the legends surrounding her life. An entire cycle of stories evolved that loosely paralleled events of Christ's own birth and childhood, and they became popular subjects for artists.

This panel, as well as The Nativity of the Virgin and The Presentation of the Virgin, were part of a predella, a horizontal grouping of small panels below the large central image of an altarpiece. As here, the predella often narrated a sequence of events. Here, in the first panel of the series, Mary's aged father Joachim and mother Anne give alms to the poor. To their left a priest stands under the elaborate portico of the temple, from which Joachim had been expelled because the couple's childlessness was seen as a sign of God's disfavor.

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