Tuesday, July 25, 2017

2017 Saint Anne Update



Attributed to the Painter of Add.MS.15677
Anna Selbdritt
from a Book of Hours
Flemish, c.1500
Cambridge_Fitzwilliam Museum
MS Marlay Cutting G.7a

July 26th is the feast day of Saints Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus. They, especially St. Anne, have been important saints for most of the life of the Church and frequently featured in Christian art.


Over several years I have posted various images of Saints Anne and Joachim. The number keeps growing because, as the internet becomes a more widely available tool, the number of museums and libraries that are making their collections available online keeps growing. Further, museums and libraries that made their collections available several years ago continue to release more material from their holdings as they keep adding to their online presence. Since Anne and Joachim have been important for so long, we are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg of images that probably exist.


Each year I propose to continue to add to the collection of images available through this blog as new ones become accessible. I will link these images with the essays about their iconological type which I did in 2011.


In addition, this year I came across several images that fit into none of the categories I previously suggested. I have, therefore, created a new category called "Parental Love". Like pictures that imagine the life of Jesus as a boy in His home in Nazareth, these images imagine the relationship between Mary, as a little girl, and her parents.

So, now I present the 2017 additions to the iconography of St. Anne. Each section heading is also a link to the original article which explains the iconography. Click on the section headings to learn more.

Announcing Mary's Birth


Joachim's Offering Is Rejected
Part of Altarpiece of the Virgin Mary
Dalmatian or Venetian, c. 1400
London, National Gallery 
The Angel Announces Mary's Birth to Saint Joachim
Part of Altarpiece of the Virgin
Dalmatian or Venetian, c. 1400
London, National Gallery 
The Expulsion of Saint Joachim from the Temple
Netherlandish or German, c. 1475-1500
Philadelphia, Museum of Art
Gaudenzio Ferrari, Ejection of Joachim from the Temple
Italian, c. 1500-1510
Turin, Galleria Sabauda








































Marcantonio Raimondi after Albrecht Durer
Annunciation to Saint Joachim
Italian, 1506
Philadelphia, Museum of Art
Albrecht Altdorfer, Annunciation to Saint Joachim
German, 1515
Philadelphia, Museum of Art




























Bernardino Luini, Annunciation to Saint Anne, with Saint Joachim and the Angel in the Background
Italian, c. 1520-1521
Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera


The Meeting at the Golden Gate


Meeting at the Golden Gate
Part of Altarpiece of the Virgin Mary
Dalmatian or Venetian, c. 1400
London, National Gallery
Pseudo-Jacquemart and Collaborators, Meeting at the Golden Gate
from the Grandes heures de Jean de BerryFrench (Paris), 1409
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de Paris
MS Latin 919, fol. 24
Saint Anne and Saint Joachim at the Golden Gate
German, c. 1430-1450
New  York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Nicolas Dipre, Meeting at the Golden Gate
French, c. 1500
Paris, Musee du Louvre

Albrecht Altdorfer, Meeting at the Golden Gate
German, c. 1515
Paris, Musee du Louvre
This is one of the most emotion-charged
images of the subject that I have ever seen.

Bernardino Luini, Saint Joachim and Saint Anne
Meeting at the Golden Gate
Italian, c. 1520-1521
Milan, Pinacoteca





























The Birth of Mary

Pietro Lorenzetti, Birth of the Virgin Mary
Italian, 1342
Siena, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo


Birth of Mary
Part of the Altarpiece of the Virgin
Dalmatian or Venetian, c. 1400
London, National Gallery 

Presentation of Mary in the Temple

Presentation of Mary in the Temple
Byzantine (Constantinople), 10th Century
Berlin, Skulpturensammlung und Museum fuer Byzantinische Kunst
der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin
Michael Healy, St. Anne and the Virgin Mary with Two Angels
Irish, c.1925
Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland


Parental Love  

This is the new category of pictures that I mentioned above.  In these images artists have tried to capture their imagining of what may have been the relationship between the young Mary and her older parents.  They present charming scenes that allow us to speculate that, where there is love, the relationship between small children and their parents is, in general, a constant thing, no matter the level of society and the era of history.  These images also are more likely to include, or even to focus on, the relationship of Mary with her father, Joachim.

After Abraham van Diepenbeeck, Saint Joachim and the Child Mary
Flemish, c. 1700
London, British Museum
This is one of the most charming and sensitive images of the love between parent and child that I have ever seen.  Mary's confiding look as she rushes into her father's arms and his gentle smile in response are totally disarming.  She is definitely Daddy's little girl here.

Pedro Laboria, Saint Joachim and the Virgin Mary as a Child
Spanish, 1746
Bogota, Museo del Arte Colonial
What parent, or even what casual observer, hasn't seen this scene played out many times!

Francesco Solimena, Saints Anne and Joachim with the Virgin
Italian, 18th Century
Private Collection
A late, Italian variation on the Anna Selbdritt image, as Anne wraps her cloak around Mary.


Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Saint Anne and Saint Joachim Offering the Young Mary to God the Father
Italian, c. 1750-1760
London, British Museum
As befits its serious subject, this image is more formal, part of serious reflection on Mary's destiny. 
Johann Melchior Wyrsch, Childhood of the Virgin
Swiss, 1770
Beasancon, Musee des Beaux-Arts et d'Archeologie
This image emphasizes the advanced age of the couple.  


Saint Anne as Mary's Teacher (The Education of the Virgin)

The Education of the Virgin, Saints Anne and Joachim
with a Donor
from the Salisbury PsalterEnglish (Salisbury), c. 1350-1375
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France
MS Latin 765, fol. 7
The Education of the Virgin
from a Book of HoursFrench, c. 1450-1475
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France
MS Latin 1175, fol. 149-150































Attributed to the Master of Saint Benedict
 The Education of the Virgin
German, c. 1510
Philadelphia, Museum of Art
Master of the Ango Hours, The Education
of the Virgin
from The Ango HoursFrench (Rouen), c. 1515
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France
MS Nouvelle acquisition latine 392, fol. 159



























Workshop of Laurent de LaHyre, The Education of the Virgin
French, c. 1640-1656
Rouen, Musee des Beaux-Arts

Juan Carreño de Miranda, Saint Anne Teaching the Virgin to Read
Spanish, 1674
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

Ramon Amadeu, Saint Anne and the Virgin as a Child
Spanish, c.1775-1780
Barcelona, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
Michel Healy, Saint Anne Teaching the Virgin to Read
Irish, c.1910
Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland



























Anne, the Root of the Tree of Salvation (the Anna Selbdritt)



Niccolo Alunno, Saint Anne with the Madonna and Child Enthroned
Italian, c. 1458-1461
New  York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Lehman Collection
This is particularly interesting in being an early Italian version of the "bench type Anna Selbdritt" image, more typical of northern Europe.

Anna Selbdritt with Christ Stripped of His Garments
in the Background
German (Westphalian), c. 1486-1500
Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud

Master of the Saint John Panels, Anna Selbdritt with Saint Francis and  Saint Lidwina with Donors
Dutch, c. 1490-1500
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum
The donors are obviously a family group.  The small figures in reddish robes kneeling in front of the enthroned figures of Saint Anne, the Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus likely represent children of the family who died in infancy or early childhood.  In the eternal "now" of God they are joined with their living family members and with the saints in paying homage to the Holy Family, as, by extension, so are those, living and dead and yet unborn, who view this painting with the same prayerful devotion.  So, in addition to being an "Anna Selbdritt" this image also demonstrates the Communion of Saints.
Bartholomeus Zeitblom, Predella panel with Anna Selbdritt and Saints Barbara, Margaret of Antioch, Dorothy and
Mary Magdalene
German, c. 1511
Augsburg,  Staatsgalerie in der Katherinenk
Anna Selbdritt
Flemish (Mechelen), c. 1520
Philadelphia, Museum of Art

Master of the Biperach Kindred, Anna Selbdritt
German, c. 1520
Munich, Bayerisches Nationalmsueum


























Anonymous, Anna Selbdritt with Saints of the House of Habsburg
Flemish_c.1625-1628
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

Anonymous, Anna Selbdritt
French, 17th Century
Rennes, Musee des Beaux-Arts

Saint Anne, Grandmother


Albrecht Durer, Holy Family with Saints Joachim and Anne
German, 1511
Boston, Museum of Fine Arts

Hans Baldung Grien, Saint Anne with the Christ Child, the Virgin and Saint John the Baptist
German, c. 1511
Washington, National Gallery of Art

Jacques Blanchard, Madonna and Child with Saint Anne Offering an Apple
French, c. 1625-1630
Paris, Musee du Louvre

Giovanni Battista Beinaschi, Holy Family with Saints Anne and Joachim
Italian, 1670s
Private Collection

Hendrik van Limborch, Holy Family with the Virgin's Parents
Dutch, 1718
Paris, Musee du Louvre
Saint Anne is hard to find in this picture, which has probably been darkened by aging varnish.  Her face is to be found in the dark space between Mary and her father, Joachim.   Saint Anne's hand appears just above the head of the Infant Jesus, as she tries to shield Him from being hurt by what looks like a baby-rattle in the hand of the infant Saint John the Baptist.

St. Anne in the Communion of Saints

Giovanni Piemontese, Anna Selbdritt with the Archangel Michael and Saints Catherine of Alexandria, Mary Magdalene and Francis of Assisi
Italian, 1471
Berlin, Gemaeldegalerie der Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Alvise Vivarini. Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Louis of Toulouse, Anthony of Padua, Anne, Joachim, Francis of Assisi and Bernardino of Siena
Italian, 1480
Venice, Gallerie dell'Accademia

Andrea Previtali Baglioni, Madonna and Child with Saints Joachim and Anne
Italian, c. 1515-1520
Bergamo, Accademia Carrara

Novena Prayer to Saint Anne

"O glorious St. Ann, you are filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care.

Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen."


To view the updates from previous years see:

2014 Update



© M. Duffy, 2017














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