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Icon of the Presentation of the Mother of God in the Temple

drewmeister2

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This question has been in the back of my head for a while now, and have been meaning to ask it.

Why in the Icon of the Presentation of the Mother of God does Mary look so small, compared to what I would guess would be a Jewish priest and the people behind her.  Is this because the age that she would have been presented in the temple was like 5?  So thus, she was still young (and thus small)?  Here is an example of the Icon: http://www.religiousmall.com/rqt_wthv6.html (I don't mean to advertise for these people, lol, I just did a google search for this Icon, and this came up).   

Thank you :)
 

drewmeister2

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Arystarcus said:
Yup, you got it. :)
Oh, lol, cool :). Thank you for your help.

I will say though, when I first saw this icon, it kind of looked funny.  I was like, why is she so small? lol.  Makes sense now, although it still looks funny, as in most icons we see her as an adult.
 

Arystarcus

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No problem!

Here is some more info I found on the web here.

    The Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos to the Temple celebrates entry into the life of the Temple. Joachim and Anna were very old when Mary was born. As Anna had promised, she brought Mary to the Temple, as a young girl of three and dedicated her to God’s service. It was customary for many young Jewish virgins and widows to live at the temple where they studied the Word of God and performed temple service.

    When Mary was presented to the High Priest, he took her into the sanctuary, which was called the "Holy of Holies", where he was allowed once a year. Mary studied and served in the temple until the age of 14. At that time, she was betrothed, following a religious custom, to Joseph. Mary went to Nazareth with Joseph, where she continued her religious life of prayer and study. It was there in Nazareth that Mary was visited by the angel who told her she would be the mother of Jesus, God’s Son.
 

Fr. George

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You definitely hit it on the head when you said she's small because of her age... she was between 3 and 5 when presented (I think closer to 3).
 

drewmeister2

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cleveland said:
You definitely hit it on the head when you said she's small because of her age... she was between 3 and 5 when presented (I think closer to 3).
Neat! Lol, I still think the Theotokos looks funny being so small.  I guess I'm used to seeing her as an adult.    ;D
 

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What I find interesting is that when young, children are never depicted in proportion to how they really are, but are rather rendered as miniature adults... normally on an infant, the head is like 40-50% of the body mass, but you never see the baby Jesus depicted that way...
 

ozgeorge

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cleveland said:
What I find interesting is that when young, children are never depicted in proportion to how they really are, but are rather rendered as miniature adults... normally on an infant, the head is like 40-50% of the body mass, but you never see the baby Jesus depicted that way...
When I look at Icons of the Infant Christ, I see a wise Face- a Child beyond His Years with unfathomable Wisdom. I think this is the effect the iconographers wished to create................"Mission Accomplished!"
 
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