The Annunciation, ca. 1485
Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi) (Italian, Florentine, 1444/45–1510)
Tempera and gold on wood; 7 1/2 x 12 3/8 in. (19.1 x 31.4 cm)
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.74)
This jewel-like representation of the Annunciation is set in an architectural interior constructed according to a rigorous system of one-point perspective. The panel was almost certainly commissioned as a private devotional image, not as part of a larger structure. While the identity of the patron is not known, the work was in the famed Barberini collection in Rome in the seventeenth century. One of the most celebrated masterpieces in the Robert Lehman Collection, The Annunciation was given by Lehman to his father Philip as a birthday gift, and was a favorite of both men.