None, Presentation in the Temple, fol. 82

Presentation in the Temple (folio 92r)

The office of None, read in the midafternoon, is usually paired with the scene of the Presentation in the Temple. Forty days after the Nativity, the Holy Family came to the temple in Jerusalem so that Mary might be purified and the Jesus, and a first-born Jewish baby boy, should be presented to God, and exchanged for an offering. In Luke’s Gospel the priest who received the baby was Simeon, who recognized the Child as the Messiah (Simeon’s speech, the “Nunc dimittis,” “Now let thy servant depart in peace,” is read during Compline, the final Hour). The McVitty Hours includes the necessary figures of Simeon, Mary, and the Christ Child.  The scene is compositionally closest to that of Morgan MS M. 231, fol. 85v, the work of the “Chief Associate,” although in the Hollins manuscript, it is Joseph, rather than a young female attendant, who holds the basket of doves and candle.

The setting of the McVitty Presentation is unusual in that the Temple has large, unglazed windows through which the wooded landscape can be seen on three sides.  One of the characteristic rock formations stands guard behind Joseph.

Catalogue entry by Jordan Shook.