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Annunciation in an Initial M

Maestro Daddesco (Italian, Florence, active ca. 1320–40) (?)

Date:
ca. 1310–15
Medium:
Tempera and gold on parchment
Dimensions:
5 3/8 x 5 1/4 in. (13.6 x 13.4cm) Stave: 1 5/16 in. (3.4cm)
Classification:
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 1975.1.2478
Accession Number:
1975.1.2478
  • Description

    The initial M illustrates an antiphon for the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25): Missus est Gabriel Angelus ad Mariam Virginem ("The Angel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary").
    In this initial, the illuminator used the form of the letter M to divide and frame the figures of the Virgin and the angel Gabriel, kneeling before her. The wood floor, rendered with a spiraling grain pattern, suggests that the setting is a domestic interior. This cutting may be an early work by the anonymous painter and illuminator known as the Maestro Daddesco, who was either a contemporary or a follower of the Florentine artist Bernardo Daddi and was a major figure in Florentine illumination during the first half of the fourteenth century.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Annotated (on verso): ns.a[ntiphona].Sic[ut] mir / e[m] dedisti suavi

    Marking: Verso: two 4-line staves (stave height 3.4 cm.) with two lines of fragmentary text: "ns. a[ntiphona]. Sic [ut] mir / e [m] dedisti suavi," the initial S of "Sicut" blue with red penwork decoration

  • Provenance

    Madame Fould, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 26 December 1926, lot 47, pl. 5 (as Tuscan, fourteenth century)

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
461448

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