In 1486, Carlo Crivelli painted an altarpiece called The Annunciation with Saint Emidius for the Church of SS. Annunziata in Ascoli Piceno. The painting celebrates the self-governance granted to the town in 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV. Crivelli was a Late Gothic painter, and his artwork exhibits a conservative decorative style.
The Annunciation with Saint Emidius shows an angel delivering a message to Mary in a 15th-century context. The painting’s primary focus is the spiritual aspect of Jesus’ existence, and it has a calming effect. Crivelli imbues the colours, figures, and symbols with profound meaning as a storyteller. The artwork is an adaptation of the Annunciation, bringing forth unique elements of location, social interaction, and time.
The painting’s International Gothic style was influenced by prominent artists, including Mantegna and Squarcione, and is signed and dated, making it an early commission in Crivelli’s territory. The artwork is a masterpiece of Crivelli, and its simplicity and clarity recall the religious experiences of that era.