Annunciation (Leonardo)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Annunciation (Leonardo da Vinci))
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Annunciation (Leonardo).jpg
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Yearcirca 1472–1475[1]
MediumOil and tempera on panel
Dimensions98 cm × 217 cm (39 in × 85 in)
LocationUffizi, Florence, Italy[1]

Annunciation is a painting attributed to the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, dating from circa 1472–1475.[1] It is housed in the Uffizi gallery of Florence, Italy. Leonardo might have finished the Annunciation in his early twenties.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4] Before Liphart the painting had been attributed to Domenico Ghirlandaio.[citation needed]


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 were lengthened by a later artist.[5]

When the Annunciation came to the Uffizi in 1867, from the Olivetan monastery of San Bartolomeo[6] 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 Leonardo, one of the first attributions of a surviving work to the youthful Leonardo.[7] Since then a preparatory drawing for the angel's sleeve in Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford has been recognized and attributed to Leonardo.[citation needed]

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.


On March 12, 2007, the painting was at the center of a furor between Italian citizens and the Minister of Culture, who decided to place the picture on loan to exhibit in Japan.[8][9]


Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Leonardo da Vinci: The Annunciation" (overview),, 2009, webpage: AC-Annunc.
  2. ^ "The Annunciation – by Leonardo Da Vinci". Henri Matisse. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  3. ^ Uffizi, Leonardo da Vinci, Annunciation Archived 2014-08-08 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Brown, David Alan (1998). Leonardo da Vinci : origins of a genius. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. p. 169. ISBN 0300072465.
  5. ^ Wallace, Robert (1966). The World of Leonardo: 1452–1519. New York: Time-Life Books. p. 30.
  6. ^ Uffizi: Florence. New York: Newsweek. 1968. p. 80.
  7. ^ Though there was hesitation on the part of some art historians who remarked on 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.
  8. ^ "NETZEITUNG KULTURNEWS: Da-Vinci-Gemälde lässt sich nicht anketten" (in German). Retrieved 2013-07-17.
  9. ^ CBC Arts (12 March 2007). "Arts – Da Vinci work crated for loan despite Italian protests". Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2013.

External links[edit]