The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Annunciation
  • Philippe de Champaigne (1602 - 1674)
  • The Annunciation
  • France
  • c.1648
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 334 x 214.5 cm, maximum
    Object size: 355 x 239 x 11 cm
  • P134
  • Great Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • One of Champaigne's great masterworks of religious painting in its quiet monumentality, deep colour scheme and seemingly simple composition. This painting depicts the moment in St Luke’s Gospel when the Angel Gabriel tells Mary that the Holy Spirit, symbolised by the descending dove, will cause her to bear the son of God. Champaigne painted numerous images of the theme. This is a late version, in which the Virgin and the Angel are involved in a silent dialogue. The Virgin is here shown in front of her bed and her prayer stool, evoking the domestic setting of the scene that was seen as reflecting her specific virtues. The scene is strongly lit by real light from the right, heavenly light accompanying the Holy Spirit is emanating from God through the clouds.
    The painting was probably made for the church of Saint Catherine-de-la-Culture in Paris, being listed among the parish’s possessions after the French Revolution. A small version, probably a preliminary modello, is in the Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull.