The Annunciation, Giorgio Vasari – analysis of the picture

Description of the picture:

The Annunciation – Giorgio Vasari. 1564-1567. Wood, oil. 216×166 cm
In this painting, Vasari uses the biblical motive that has become canonical for painting – the appearance of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary with the news of her sinless conception. The picture is a catchy standard of mannerism – complex outlines of images, a wealth of drapery, sophisticated poses, a huge number of characters. All these details are peculiar to works in this style and to the work of the artist of this period.

The canvas depicts two large figures – the Virgin Mary in freely draping fluttering clothes and a effeminate blond-haired archangel with golden wings, kneeling before the future Mother of God and holding a branch of a blossoming lily in her hands – a sign of innocence. Both characters are captured on a dark background, so they stand out from the darkness in relief and seem airy and light. Light falls on them from the front, from the side of the viewer, and comes from above, from a dove floating above them – a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Such a detail as the place where Mary and the messenger of God met is striking. This is a typical Renaissance room, with a stone portal of the door and a lush velvet canopy of the bed on which the Virgin Mary sits. This is also characteristic of paintings of that era, which used modern surroundings to depict past events."

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