The Cestello Annunciation is a tempera painting on a wood panel created by Sandro Botticelli in 1489 for the church of Santa Maria Maddalena de’Pazzi, previously known as the Cestello monastery. The painting depicts the Archangel Gabriel kneeling to Mary to announce the conception of Jesus Christ marking his actual incarnation.
Botticelli’s attention to detail and use of form sets this masterpiece apart. The composition is devoid of furnishings, highlighting its simplicity while emphasizing its emotional intensity. Mary and Gabriel don sober clothing while their expressions convey a potent connection between them, indicating a spiritual bond.
The painting was commissioned by Benedetto di Ser Giovanni Guardi, who was one of Botticelli’s patrons. It displays notable painterly techniques characterized by vivid colors and sweeping lines, highlighting Botticelli’s keen aesthetic sense. Today it’s located in Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy and remains an excellent example of quattrocento art featuring harmonious shapes and contours that instill emotions into the subject matter.