The Annunciation

Artist: Attributed to Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli (Italian, Viadana ca. 1505–ca. 1570 Parma)

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: 33 3/8 x 23 1/8 in. (84.8 x 58.7 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, Gwynne Andrews Fund, James S. Deely Gift, special funds, and other gifts and bequests, by exchange, 1982

Accession Number: 1982.319


Unusual for showing the annunciation of Christ’s birth as taking place in the Virgin’s bedroom at night, by candlelight, this vibrant oil sketch is rapidly painted on a rough panel and incorporates numerous changes. It is a precocious example of a modello—a proposal or model for a project that could be shown to the patron. Although it is related to an altarpiece Bedoli painted in the 1550s for a church in his hometown, near Parma, its high quality is worthy of Bedoli’s famous cousin, Parmigianino, to whom it was long attributed. It must predate the altarpiece by a considerable amount of time.