The Trinity with St. Anne and her Family

Circa 1690
Chapel St. Rupert (Filialkirche St. Ruprecht), Weißpriach, Austria

This is a late version of the Anna Selbdritt iconographic type. On the horizontal axis Saints Joseph and Joachim flank St. Anne and her daughter Mary, who sit in the center with the Christ Child between them. The infant in turn continues the vertical axis of Father, Holy Spirit, and Son, concluding with John the Baptist and his words, ECCE AGNUS DEI ("Behold the lamb of God," John 1:29). The lamb in the lower right echoes and concretized John's phrase.

Besides the context, St. Joseph is identified by the lily branch, St. Joachim by the leafy branch on his shoulder. The Golden Legend identifies the feast at which his offering was refused as Encaenia, which commemorates the Rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. II Maccabees 10:7 says that celebrants on that day "carried boughs, and green branches, and palms for Him that had given them good success in cleansing his place."

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Read more about St. Anne, the Trinity, St. Joseph, and St. Joachim.

Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.