Jesus as a twelve-year-old boy among the teachers in the temple. Artist: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Engraver: unknown — monograph inscribed lower right. Source: Die Bibel in Bildern, Plate 173. Click on image to enlarge it.

And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. [Luke 2: 42-47; Die Bibel in Bildern cites only verses 46-47]

This popular subject, the opening event in Christ’s ministry, appealed to many artists throughout the ages. Schnorr’s British contemporary William Holman Hunt, for example, did two versions. The earliest, The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple (1860) was his first painting incorporating the inspiration from Ruskin’s typological reading of Tintoretto Scuola di San Rocco Annunciation that, according to him and Millias, inspired the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood — a painting that combined a detailed realism elevated by elaborate use of typological symbolism with explicit allusions to scripture. (He began it in the mid-1850s but difficulty obtaining models led him to finish the far less accessible Scapegoat (1856) first. He later created a watercolor design for a mosaic, entitled Christ among the Doctors. — George P. Landow.

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Die Bibel in Bildern [Picture Bible] von Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Leipzig: Georg Wigands, 1860. Hathi Digital Trust Library online version of a copy in the Getty Library. Web. 30 June 2016.

Last modified 3 July 2016