Annunciation (1879) by Edward Burne-Jones

Annunciation - Edward Burne-Jones - 1860

Artwork Information

ArtistEdward Burne-Jones
Mediumstained glass
Dimensions250 x 104 cm (98 2/5 x 41 in)
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationNational Museums and Galleries on Merseyside

About Annunciation

The artwork titled “Annunciation” is a remarkable example of Edward Burne-Jones’s proficiency in stained glass, created in the year 1860. Embodying the essence of Romanticism, this religious painting stands at an impressive 250 x 104 cm (98 2/5 x 41 in) and can be appreciated at the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside. Burne-Jones’s work is renowned for its poetic and evocative qualities, often drawing upon medieval and mythological themes to deliver its narrative impact.

In “Annunciation,” the artwork is structured into two tall, slender panels, each capped with an elaborate Gothic arch. The left panel depicts the figure of Angel Gabriel, who is shown with an outstretched hand as if delivering a divine message. Gabriel’s detailed, vividly colored wings complement his flowing robes, providing a sense of heavenly presence. Below him, a scattering of lilies, symbolizing purity, is intermingled with rich foliage, adding to the overall symbolic depth of the scene.

The right panel features the Virgin Mary, shown in a humble and receptive pose as she receives the angel’s message. Her attire is rendered with intricate patterns and folds, reflective of her virtue and grace. As is customary in depictions of the Annunciation, Mary is portrayed alongside a domestic setting, suggesting the intimacy and sacredness of the moment. The expression on her face is one of serene contemplation, acknowledging the gravity and blessing of the angel’s announcement.

The use of color in the artwork is saturated and intense, corresponding to the traditional approach of stained glass that allows light to imbue the work with an otherworldly luminosity. The background is richly adorned with ornamental designs, and the text below both figures adds a narrative context, inviting the viewer to engage with the story being told. Each component, from the figures to the flora, contributes to a cohesive visual narrative, encapsulating both the divinity and humanity at the heart of the Annunciation.

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