The Annunciation

Taddeo Crivelliabout 1469

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

On a vibrant tile floor of alternating colors, the Virgin Mary kneels within the deep receding space of the chapel. Suddenly she is interrupted at her daily devotions by the angel Gabriel, who announces that she will bear the Messiah. An abbreviated version of Gabriel's words, taken from Luke's Gospel, appears on the top of the frame in classical Roman letters: Ave gracia plena (Hail, full of grace). In contrast to the central image's use of perspective to suggest the illusion of depth, the space of the border bursts out into the viewer's space with feats of trompe l'oeil illusionism. The putto on the left, wrapped in a swirling scroll of music, pushes his right foot into the viewer's space while his wings overlap the outer frame. Naturalistic elements, including flowers, peacocks, and trees, crowd the border , interspersed with Renaissance heraldic devices with Gualengo's personal mottoes. This miniature of the Annunciation faces the beginning of the text of the service of Matins in the Hours of the Virgin.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: The Annunciation
  • Date Created: about 1469
  • Location Created: Ferrara, Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: w7.9 x h10.8 cm
  • Type: Folio
  • Rights: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • External Link: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=4103
  • Medium: "Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment"
  • illuminator: Taddeo Crivelli (Italian, died about 1479, active about 1451 - 1479)
  • Terms of Use: http://www.getty.edu/legal/copyright.html
  • Subject: Doves, Peacocks, Flowers, Archangel Gabriel, Annunciation, Cherubs