oilpainting: 331,5 cm x 404 cm

Pierre Joseph Verhaghen from Aarschot was one of the last representatives of the Rubens tradition, which thrived in the Netherlands well into the eighteenth century. This large altar piece, The Presentation in the Temple, was painted in 1767 and was originally commissioned for the former Dominican church in Ghent. The theme refers to a story in Lukes Gospel (2:22-40). The old man Simeon is generally represented in the bishops garments and mitre, as is the case here, although he was not a high priest. He commends the Child Jesus to God and recognizes the Messiah in him. The presentation is a Jewish custom that coincides with the purification of the mother. The poor traditionally brought a couple of turtle doves in lieu of an offering. The abundant colours, the inventive composition and the powerful brush strokes situate this work in the line of the Antwerp Baroque.