The Annunciation (c.1785) by Francisco Goya

The Annunciation - Francisco Goya - c.1785

Artwork Information

TitleThe Annunciation
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions42 x 26 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Annunciation

The artwork titled “The Annunciation,” created by Francisco Goya circa 1785, manifests the skillful application of oil on canvas. With dimensions measuring 42 by 26 centimeters, this piece is an exemplar of Romanticism, an art movement known for emphasizing emotion and individualism as well as glorifying the past and nature. The painting delves into the genre of religious art and is presently held in a private collection, out of the public gaze.

“The Annunciation” captures a pivotal moment in Christian narratives, depicting the angelic messenger appearing to the Virgin Mary to announce the birth of Jesus Christ. In the artwork, radiant divine light pierces the scene from above, centering on the figure of the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove. The scene is dramatized by the presence of cherubic figures, shrouded within the heavenly glow that frames the celestial messenger. The angel, standing to the left, is depicted in an ethereal robe, gesturing towards Mary as a symbol of communication of the divine message.

Mary is rendered with humble poise, her attention turned towards a book, symbolizing her devotion and erudition, as well as her role as the receptacle of wisdom and the divine word. The divine illumination touches her, alluding to the overshadowing by the Holy Spirit mentioned in the scriptures. Her posture of reverent introspection and the subdued coloring of her clothing contrast with the iridescent quality of the angel’s attire.

Goya’s handling of the paint is fluid and expressive, characteristic of the Romantic spirit that seeks to transcend the precision of the neoclassical style that preceded it. The loose brushstrokes and the dreamlike quality of the figures contribute to a sense of immediacy and mystical experience, encouraging viewers to contemplate the transcendent nature of the event. “The Annunciation” thus not only portrays a biblical event but does so with a visual language that speaks to the spiritual and emotional resonance of the subject matter.

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