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


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.