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The Annunciation

Artist:
Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi) (Italian, Florence 1444/45–1510 Florence)
Date:
ca. 1485
Medium:
Tempera and gold on wood
Dimensions:
7 1/2 x 12 3/8 in. (19.1 x 31.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.74
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 959
One of the most celebrated paintings in the Robert Lehman Collection, this jewel-like representation of the Annunciation is set in an architectural interior using one-point perspective to give the illusion of deeply recessed space. In the center, a row of square columns divides the monumental space occupied by the Angel Gabriel from the intimate bed-chamber of the Virgin. A drapery panel is drawn back, revealing the Virgin in a pose of humility. The panel was almost certainly commissioned as a private devotional image, not as part of a larger work. While the identity of the patron is not known, the painting was in the famed Barberini collection in Rome in the seventeenth century.
Palazzo Barberini, Rome; E. Volpi, Florence; exported from Italy, July 1905 (dated customs stamp on reverse of panel); Oscar Huldschinsky, Berlin, from 1906; Huldschinsky sale, Cassirer and Helbing, Berlin, May 10–11, 1928, no. 54; bought by Böhler and Steinmeyer for Robert Lehman.
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