The Virgin appears kneeling in front of a table decorated with a red cloth with gold trim.. The arrival of the archangel has caused the Virgin to put down her book and turn her face to observe the unexpected visitor. Saint Gabriel, is in the act of approaching the Virgin. In his left hand he grasps a golden sceptre topped with a kind of fleur-de-lys: it is the messenger’s staff. He extends his right arm pointing with his index and middle fingers towards the sky to emphasise the fact that the message he brings comes directly from God.
Mary brings her left hand to her chest as a sign of compliance with the divine message, while with her right she still holds a page of the book she was reading. More on this painting
The Annunciation referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Yehoshua, meaning “YHWH is salvation”.
According to Luke 1:26, the Annunciation occurred “in the sixth month” of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Many Christians observe this event with the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, an approximation of the northern vernal equinox nine full months before Christmas, the ceremonial birthday of Jesus. In England, this came to be known as Lady Day. It marked the new year until 1752. The 2nd-century writer Irenaeus of Lyon regarded the conception of Jesus as 25 March coinciding with the Passion. More The Annunciation
Spanish School, 16th Century. In the sixteenth century when Spain became a world power with vast possessions and sources of wealth in the New World, as well as possessions dotted about Europe, it might have been expected that a vigorous national school of painting would emerge, transforming the somewhat tentative or imitative character that painting in Spain had shown up to then. It turned out otherwise. For most of the 16th century, painting remained spiritless. Both the Emperor Charles V and his son Philip II of Spain were patrons with a feeling for art, but the great Venetians, especially Titian, claimed most of their interest. Philip also highly approved of the fantasies of Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) – although the top Spanish clergy suspected heresy in these strange pictures from the Netherlands. More on Spanish School, 16th Century
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