A heart -shaped slice of birch wood- and the haloes of Sts Joachim and Anne merged as to form an actual heart after their embrace.
A very pious couple and a couple that loved each other dearly for many – many years. Our sources (mostly the Protoevangellion of James, a text that belongs in the Apocrypha ) tell us that both were especially tormented for being childless so, St Anna at the news that she was with child: “…saw Joachim coming, and she ran and hung upon his neck…”
That is exactly the moment that this icon pictures, being a study from an older work made by an unknown master from of the 16th century, found in Sofia.
The use of a very bold, almost “explosive” red on the garments of Hannah, and the lines of the painting were ideal in communicating all this unexpected joy, all this energy gathered after countless years of longing and show it in this icon.