The Annunciation (c. 1472-1475) by Leonardo da Vinci

The Annunciation - Leonardo da Vinci - c.1472

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Annunciation
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
MediumOil on Panel,tempera,wood
Dimensions217 x 98 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationUffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
Location Created Milan, Italy

About The Annunciation

“The Annunciation,” crafted circa 1472, is a masterful work by the renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci. It demonstrates his expertise in the use of oil on panel with elements of tempera and wood. The artwork, which measures 217 x 98 cm, is a seminal representation of religious painting from the Early Renaissance era. Created in Milan, Italy, this resplendent piece is currently housed in the prestigious Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

The artwork portrays a pivotal moment in Christian iconography: the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she will conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking the incarnation. Gabriel is depicted on the left, kneeling gracefully with an outstretched hand towards Mary, who is seated to the right, signifying the divine message being delivered. Mary, ensconced in a state of tranquil receptivity, appears to be withdrawing slightly, her posture conveying humility and contemplation. She has a book on the table beside her, which symbolizes her piety and readiness to receive God’s word.

Both figures are rendered with delicate features and draped in sumptuous, flowing robes that exhibit the artist’s profound understanding of form and fabric. The setting of the event is depicted as a walled garden or hortus conclusus, symbolic of Mary’s purity. Beyond the confines of this sacred space, a detailed landscape with trees, mountains, and a distant horizon unfolds, showcasing the artist’s early exploration into the techniques of atmospheric perspective. The attention to the minutiae of flora and architectural elements reflects the meticulous approach typical of da Vinci’s oeuvre. The artwork’s serene composition and balanced use of light and shadow offer a contemplative experience that draws viewers into the marvel of the Annunciation narrative.

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