Annunciation by Albrecht Durer

Annunciation - Albrecht Durer -

Artwork Information

ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Annunciation

The “Annunciation” by Albrecht Dürer is a religious painting from the Northern Renaissance period. As an influential piece of artwork, it depicts the biblical scene where the Angel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that she will conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking the Incarnation. Dürer, an important figure of the Northern Renaissance, captured this religious and spiritual moment with his remarkable skill and attention to detail.

In reviewing the image, you can see two primary figures in an enclosed architectural space with classical design elements, such as rounded arches and coffered ceilings. On the left, the Virgin Mary is depicted seated, with a book on her lap, suggesting her pious nature and readiness to receive divine wisdom. She bows her head humbly, and her hand is raised in a gesture that reflects her surprise or her acceptance of the angel’s message. The right side of the scene is dominated by a dynamic figure of Angel Gabriel, who makes a grand entrance enveloped by swirling drapery that reflects the intensity of this divine moment. Gabriel is captured in the act of greeting Mary, most likely at the point of saying, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee.”

Above Gabriel, the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove, surrounded by clouds, sending forth rays of heavenly light that point to Mary, signifying the divine nature of her conception. The environment is meticulously drafted, with straight lines, carefully arranged tiles, and a consistent perspective that draws the eye into the depth of the room, and ultimately, to the spiritual depth of the moment captured. Dürer’s precise linework and undeniable mastery in composition and form are clear in this piece, which stands as a testament to the spiritual and artistic values of his time. His signature monogram, “AD,” can be usually seen on his work, marking his authorship.

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