Monday, March 25, 2013


Filippo Lippi, National Gallery, London

Both the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Artwork of the Day and Patrick remind me that today is the feast of the Annunciation. This is the day that the Angel Gabriel turned up on a young woman's doorstep with some overwhelming news.

I have a minor obsession with Annunciation imagery. It's been a fruitful subject for artists for a good long time, and the constraints have produced some magnificent paintings. Nearly every Annunciation painting contains Gabriel, Mary, and a lily. Usually Mary has a book in her hand or is otherwise reading. Sometimes Gabriel's words are reified in the painting. Sometimes God the Father is in the background someplace.

Herewith links to some Annunciation paintings.


john_burke100 said...

It's also the occasion that evokes the Magnificat. Claud Cockburn (father of Alexander, Patrick, and Andrew) said his feet were set on the road to Communism in part by hearing the vicar pronounce "He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree; he hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away." Class war! Get Glenn Beck on this ASAP.

Lisa Hirsch said...


CK Dexter Haven said...

My favorite is the Botticelli, also from the Uffizi:


Lisa Hirsch said...

That is lovely. If it's in the same room as the other Botticelli paintings, I may have overlooked it. Besides the Botticellis, that room contains one of the greatest paintings I've ever seen, the Portinari Triptych, which is enormous and very serious; it simply overwhelms the poor Botticellis.

CK Dexter Haven said...

That's beautiful too. I remember it, but am not sure which room it was in.

"The Annunciation" was in the same room as "The Birth of Venus": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_Venus_%28Botticelli%29

Some other gems in that room were the San Marco Alterpiece (http://www.abcgallery.com/B/botticelli/botticelli36.html) and "Madonna and Child with Six Saints" (http://www.abcgallery.com/B/botticelli/botticelli36.html).

That particular Botticelli Madonna and Child was on a wall next to a bunch of imitations, which weren't bad, but paled in comparison next to the original.

Despite all the magnificent stuff in the Uffizi, I found it to be the very definition of museum fatigue. Too much good stuff.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Portinari Triptych is in the same room as The Birth of Venus.

I wish Blogger automatically made links clickable! So here are clickable links:

The birth of Venus

San Marco Altarpiece

Madonna and Child with Six Saints

I thought the early Italian works at the Uffizi were much better than everything else I saw there, so next time I'm in Florence, I'm sticking with the first five galleries on the left. :)