The Annunciation

Dante Gabriel RossettiAround 1849

Tate Britain

Tate Britain

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.

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  • 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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