This painting depicts the moment when Simeon and the prophetess Anna (at the right) recognize the infant Jesus as the savior. The Christ Child reaches across the altar towards his mother in a natural gesture. Giotto’s ability to create believable space within the picture and his skill at depicting emotion made him one of the most famous artists of his time.
Isabella Gardner set the painting on a table, perpendicular to the window to get good light for viewing, with a chair placed as if a visitor could sit and contemplate the work. This arrangement occurs in other galleries, helping to focus attention and break up large spaces in the museum.