|Artist||Leonardo da Vinci|
|Type||Oil and tempera on panel|
|Dimensions||98 cm × 217 cm (39 in × 85 in)|
|Location||Uffizi, Florence, Italy|
This is a painting of the Biblical subject of the Annunciation, by the Italian Renaissance artists Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea del Verrocchio, dating from circa 1472–1475 and housed in the Uffizi gallery of Florence, Italy.
The subject matter is drawn from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1, verses 26-39 and 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 God" whose reign would never end. The subject was very popular for artworks and had been depicted many times in the art of Florence, including several examples by the Early Renaissance painter Fra Angelico.
The painting has been attributed to different artists, including Leonardo and Verrocchio's contemporary Ghirlandaio. It was then attributed to the youthful Leonardo da Vinci, and more recently determined to be a collaboration between Leonardo and his master Verrocchio, with whom Leonardo collaborated on the Baptism of Jesus.
The angel holds a Madonna lily, a symbol of Mary's virginity and of the city of Florence. It is supposed that Leonardo originally copied the wings from those of a bird in flight, but they have since been lengthened by a later artist.
When the Annunciation came to the Uffizi in 1867, from the Olivetan monastery of San Bartolomeo, near Florence, it was ascribed to Domenico Ghirlandaio, who was, like Leonardo, an apprentice in the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio. In 1869, Karl Eduard von Liphart, the central figure of the German expatriate art colony in Florence, recognized it as a youthful work by da Vinci, one of the first attributions of a surviving work to the youthful Leonardo. Since then a preparatory drawing for the angel's sleeve has been recognized and attributed to Leonardo.
Verrocchio used lead-based paint and heavy brush strokes. He left a note for Leonardo to finish the background and the angel. Leonardo used light brush strokes and no lead. When the Annunciation was x-rayed, Verrocchio's work was evident while Leonardo's angel was invisible.
The marble table, in front of the Virgin, probably quotes the tomb of Piero and Giovanni de' Medici in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, which Verrocchio had sculpted during this same period. Some immature hesitancies are usually noted, especially the Virgin's ambiguous spatial relation to the desk and the marble on which it rests.
Details of the painting
Notes and references
- "Leonardo da Vinci: The Annunciation" (overview), ArtChive.com, 2009, webpage: AC-Annunc.
- Though there was hesitation on the part of some art historians who remarked its Verrocchio-like qualities and by Giovanni Morelli, who cited the angel's hands in assigning it to Ridolfo, son of Ghirlandaio, the attribution was accepted: David Alan Brown, Leonardo da Vinci: origins of a genius, 1998:169, 170.
- "NETZEITUNG KULTURNEWS: Da-Vinci-Gemälde lässt sich nicht anketten" (in (German)). Netzeitung.de. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- CBC Arts (2007-03-12). "Arts - Da Vinci work crated for loan despite Italian protests". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci.|
- Leonardo da Vinci: anatomical drawings from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, exhibition catalog fully online as PDF from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which contains material on Annunciation (see index)