The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Annunciation
  • Antonio Cicognara (1480 - 1500)
  • The Annunciation
  • Italy
  • c.1480-1500
  • Painting
  • Tempera on oak panel
  • Image size: 43.4 x 13.5 cm, the angel
    Image size: 44 x 14 cm, the Virgin
    Frame size: 64 x 49 x 7 cm
  • P536
  • Smoking Room
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • The Archangel Gabriel tells Mary that the Holy Spirit, symbolised by the descending dove, will cause her to bear the Son of God (Luke I, 38). Mary is shown enthroned, symbolising her future role as Queen of Heaven, and reading at a lectern from the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son’. The angel kneels before her bearing a lily symbolising the purity of the Virgin. At first sight the panels might appear to be wings of a triptych, but their mismatched backgrounds indicate that they are elements of a larger panel which was cut to eliminate the central space between the two figures. The prominent architectural details and full-lipped figures are typical of an artist working in Cremona in the wake of the better-known Cosimo Tura. An attribution to Antonio Cicognara was first proposed in 1930 and has been endorsed by recent research.