The Annunciation (1785) by Francisco Goya

The Annunciation - Francisco Goya - 1785

Artwork Information

TitleThe Annunciation
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions280 x 177 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Annunciation

“The Annunciation” is a religious painting by artist Francisco Goya created in 1785. This artwork, executed in oil on canvas, measures 280 by 177 centimeters and belongs to the Romanticism art movement. Currently held in a private collection, the work depicts a scene from the Christian narrative of the Angel Gabriel announcing to the Virgin Mary that she will bear the son of God.

In the painting, one observes a portrayal of the Virgin Mary, who is depicted with a humble and contemplative expression, kneeling with her arms crossed over her chest, signifying her submission and reverence to the divine message. She is garbed in long, flowing robes, suggestive of the traditional blue often associated with depictions of the Madonna. Beside her is the figure of the Angel Gabriel, rendered with dynamic energy and depicted in the act of gesturing towards the heavens from where the divine message originates. His attire gleams with golden hues, and his wings are outspread, underscoring the heavenly nature of his visitation.

The setting is composed in a manner that directs the viewer’s eye to the interaction between the two figures, emphasizing the moment of divine communication. The color palette, rich in blue and gold, imbues the scene with a sense of the sacred and majestic. The light in the artwork is dramatically cast, bringing attention to the faces and hands of the figures, thus highlighting the focal point of the encounter.

While the artwork is rooted in tradition, as a work of the Romantic period, it also conveys emotion and grandeur—a departure from the strict formalism of Neoclassicism. Goya’s interpretation of this biblical event is both a testament to his skill as a painter and an example of the Romantic sensibilities that would come to inform much of his later, more personal work.

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