An angel is announcing to Mary that she will give birth to the Christ child. She appears to be recoiling as if disturbed from sleep. This is a radical reinterpretation of the subject. Dante Gabriel Rossetti rejected the tradition of representing the Virgin passively receiving the news. Instead he wanted the picture to have a supernatural realism.White is the dominant colour here, communicating the idea of feminine purity. This is reinforced by the lily embroidery - the same one the Virgin is shown making in Rossetti's painting of The Girlhood of Mary Virgin, on display nearby.


  • Title: The Annunciation
  • Creator: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  • Date Created: Around 1849
  • Provenance: Purchased 1886
  • Physical Dimensions: w419 x h724 mm
  • Original Title: Ecce Ancilla Domini!
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas

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