Alinari/Art Resource, NY

The Italian artist Giotto included his rendition of “Anna and Joachim Meeting at the Golden Gate” (c. 1305) in a series of 12 frescoes depicting the life of the Virgin painted on the walls of the Arena Chapel, in Padua. Giotto identifies the city gate as the Golden Gate, a gateway in the eastern wall of Jerusalem that leads directly onto the platform where the ancient Temple stood. This detail derives from the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, a sixth- or seventh-century spin-off of the Gospel of James that would have been familiar to Giotto. The woman in black at center is an enigma; some have suggested that she prefigures the sorrow of the Crucifixion.