The Cestello Annunciation (c. 1489) by Sandro Botticelli

The Cestello Annunciation - Sandro Botticelli - c.1489

Artwork Information

TitleThe Cestello Annunciation
ArtistSandro Botticelli
MediumTempera on Panel
Dimensions150 x 156 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationUffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

About The Cestello Annunciation

The artwork, “The Cestello Annunciation,” is a distinguished piece by the artist Sandro Botticelli, dating to circa 1489. Executed using tempera on panel, it measures 150 by 156 centimeters and belongs to the Early Renaissance movement. This religious painting is part of the collection at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, where it is available for public viewing.

In the artwork, the scene depicted is of the Annunciation, which is a prominent theme in Christian art illustrating the biblical event when the Angel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that she will conceive and become the mother of Jesus. The composition shows Gabriel kneeling on the left side, with his wings gracefully folded behind him as he gestures toward Mary. Gabriel is depicted with a serene expression, conveying a sense of divine tranquility and grace.

The figure of the Virgin Mary is positioned on the right, responding to the angel’s greeting with a gesture of humility and acceptance. Mary’s body language, with her right hand lifted mid-movement and her left hand resting on her chest, eloquently captures her surprise and contemplation at the revelation. Her downward gaze and the slight bow of her head convey her reverence and consent to the divine message.

Between Gabriel and Mary, there is a clear sense of spatial depth, achieved through the perspective of the checkered floor, which draws the viewer’s eye into the painting. The use of line and color in the figures’ flowing robes enhances the depiction of volume and movement. Beyond the architectural interior, a landscape unfolds through the open doorway, adding to the sense of space and depth. The landscape is rendered with attention to naturalistic details indicative of the Early Renaissance pursuit of representing the observable world.

Through Botticelli’s masterful use of composition, color, and technique, the event of the Annunciation is represented not just as a biblical story, but as a moment of profound spirituality and intimacy, befitting the religious sensibilities of the time.

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