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  • The Annunciation

    Artist:
    Cima da Conegliano, Giovanni Battista. 1459-1517
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    136x107 cm

Cima da Conegliano, Giovanni Battista. 1459-1517

The Annunciation

Italy, 1495

The Venetian artist Cima da Conegliano took as his subject the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin, bringing the news of the forthcoming birth of Christ (The Gospel According to St Luke, 1: 26-38). Renaissance artists often set figures from the Holy Scripture in contemporary surroundings and here the Virgin's bedroom looks much as it would if she had been from a late-15th-century rich Venetian family, with a bed with its canopy, a lectern and a wicker chair. Beyond the open shutters we see a cathedral and a fortress. Depicting the details carefully, the artist does not even omit such tiny things as missing panes of glass in the cathedral windows. Also in typical 15th-century style, the painting combines narrative and symbolism: the fly which sits on the lectern, for instance, symbolizes the force of the sin which shall be overcome by Christ. On the sheet of paper bearing the date of the painting we can see the half-erased names of the clients for whom the work was painted, members of the guild of silk manufacturers; the wasp may be somehow linked with the guild's emblem. Along the top of the bed an inscription in Old Hebrew runs: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah, 7: 14). This canvas formed the central part of a triptych which was formerly in a chapel in the Venetian Church of Santa Maria dei Crociferi.

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Title:

The Annunciation

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Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

136x107 cm

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-256

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