National Gallery, London

The Circumcision, painted by an assistant or assistants to the great 14th-century Italian artist Giovanni Bellini. All heads incline toward the infant Jesus, who appears consciously to look away and tense himself for the ordeal. “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus” (Luke 2:22).

Like every male Jewish infant, Jesus underwent a ritual circumcision eight days after his birth and was given a name as part of the ceremony, as directed in Genesis: “And throughout the generations, every male among you shall be circumcised at the age of eight days. … Thus shall my covenant be marked in your flesh as an everlasting pact.”