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The Annunciation announces more than the immaculate conception of Jesus, it’s a work that heralds da Vinci’s artistic coming-of-age.

Painted by Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea del Verrocchio at Verrocchio’s workshop (and no, he didn’t make puppets there, but, perhaps suspiciously, he was the premier sculptor of his day). The painting depicts the angel Gabriel informing the virgin Mary she will carry the lord’s son. For Renaissance painters, this was a typical scene, almost something you could not escape doing at least once in your career. It’s kinda like drawing a cat with oversized whiskers in preschool.

There’s no cat in this painting, however, and if there was, it would probably chase after Gabriel whose spread wings are more bird-like than angelic. Still, there are a lot of things worth noting. Gabriel holds a Madonna lily, a flower symbolic of Mary’s purity. His hair also falls off his head like a tangled waterfall in the best way possible. Mary leafs through a large tome, likely the bible. Funnily enough, she might be reading the passage from Isaiah which says a virgin will bear a son. Talk about a book hitting home.

The composition of the piece is also quite telling. In eastern Orthodox depictions, Gabriel is placed on the right, whereas in the West he would be on the left, as da Vinci and Verrocchio prove here. It also tells of da Vinci’s immaturity as an artist, as he was only in his early twenties at the production of this painting. If you compare the various angles of the walls, such as the one behind Mary’s head, to the railing behind Gabriel, the space begins to collapse. And just why is the bed inside the room behind Mary so high off the ground? She would need stilts to get into that thing.

Fortunately for da Vinci, he had a lot of time to perfect his craft. Verrocchio, on the other hand, was already getting on in his years. He was da Vinci's master after all. If anything, this painting the foreshadowing of Leonardo da Vinci growing into his craft. 

 

Sources

Sources

  1. Murray, Peter, and Linda Murray. The Oxford Companion to Christian Art and Architecture. Oxford: New York, 1998.
  2. Brown, David Alan. Leonardo Da Vinci: Origins of a Genius. New Haven (Conn.): Yale University Press, 1999.
  3. Luke 1:26-38 (NIV)

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Annunciation (Leonardo)

Annunciation is a painting attributed to the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, dating from circa 1472–1475. It is housed in the Uffizi gallery of Florence, Italy. Leonardo might have finished the Annunciation in his early twenties.

The work's subject matter is drawn from Luke 1.26–39; it depicts the angel Gabriel, sent by God to announce to a virgin, Mary, that she would miraculously conceive and give birth to a son, to be named Jesus, and to be called "the Son of God" whose reign would never end. The subject of the annunciation was very popular for artworks and had been depicted many times in Florentine art, including several examples by the Early Renaissance painter Fra Angelico. The details of its commission and its early history remain obscure.

In 1869, following Gustav Waagen's methods, Baron Liphart identified this Annunciation, newly arrived in the Uffizi Gallery from the church of San Bartolomeo a Monte Oliveto in Florence, as by the young Leonardo, still working in the studio of his master, Andrea del Verrocchio. Before Liphart the painting had been attributed to Domenico Ghirlandaio.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Annunciation (Leonardo).

Comments (2)

ART101

The first thing that catches your eye in the painting done by Leonardo da Vinci is the two women. the women in the painting seem like they are accurately proportioned to everything else in the painting. Looking at the painting the only thing that has the most details are the two women. The woman on the right has the halo which is put on saints of the Bible. So this woman must have been very important in her time. The other woman must be a messenger of God because of her wings and she is holding a side bag. The background of the picture is very plain. I believe this is done on purpose so the women can stand out more. The only thing that I question when it comes to if everything is proportioned correctly is the trees in the background. They all look like they get pruned but I'm not sure if they are smaller trees or if they are farther in the background. Way off into the distance you can see a faint mountain and a small town. In the total opposite of the mountains, the women have many details. Both of their hair is curly and you can almost see every strand of hair on their head. The only other thing in the picture that has a great deal of detail in the table. I would say that the table has the most detail of anything in the picture.

sneakers

The painting named Annunciation was created by Leonardo da Vinci in the year of 1474. The main thing that catches the eye when looking at this painting are the people in the image. One of the individuals is represented as the angel Gabriel and the other individual to the right is virgin Mary. The name of the painting comes from the message that Gabriel announces to Mary that she will conceive a child. Both the angel and Mary have the same human characteristics however they are distinguishable because Gabriel is kneeling down and has a pair of wings coming out of his back. The dresses that they are both wearing are a representation of the primary colors, the red, blue, and yellow. The dresses seem to be a velvet type of fabric which seem to have a high value to them. The ridges and folds on the dresses gives the image texture and makes it seem more realistic. In the background we see variety. There are multiple kind of trees, but they all work together to depict the painting. On the floor it is what seems to be grass and plants but seems to look more-brown like dirt rather than green. Both of the individuals have texture to their hair you can see that they both have curly and wavy hair. Towards the very back of the image is what appears to be mountains they are painting very lightly and seem to almost fade away with the clouds. The type of fading and lightness that was given to the mountains makes it seem like they are far away and are not the main focal point of this painting.