Copy of a predella panel from Garofalo (Benvenuto Tisi), The Circumcision of Christ

17th century copy of 1519 original
Oil on panel
Provenance: Church of St. Francis, Ferrara, Italy
Location (since 1864): Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara

Like some other examples, this Circumcision image adopts details from the medieval Jewish circumcision ceremony rather than using Eucharistic symbolism. The baby is held on the lap of a seated person, the mohel wears a prayer shawl and uses a knife of the type shown, a member of the congregation carries a candle, and a small jar of wine is held ready by the second person on the right.

That person has a halo, so he should be St. Joseph. The other person with a halo is the second woman to his right, most likely the Virgin Mary. Her father Joachim, identified by his staff, stands on the far left with his nephew, the child who will be John the Baptist, identified by his curly blond hair.

The woman in the center is most likely St. Anne, the baby's grandmother. The only other mature kinswoman in the gospel and apocryphal accounts would be Mary's cousin Elizabeth.

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