Annunciation to Mary.
 Angelico, fra, approximately 1400-1455

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Title:Annunciation to Mary
Notes:The Italian Renaissance painter, Fra Angelico (or Blessed Angelico), was a Dominican friar described by his contemporaries as humble, talented, and pious. He is most famous for a series of frescoes painted for his friary, San Marco, in Florence. The Prado Annunciation is an altarpiece and one of three that he painted depicting Gabriel’s announcement to Mary.

The two scenes depicted are that of the expulsion from the garden of Eden and the annunciation of Jesus’ birth. In the Christian tradition, these respectively represent the damnation and salvation of humanity. Adam and Eve are leaving a garden of flowers, representing Mary’s virginity. The viewer can also recognize the palm tree which is significant in the life of Jesus as he nears his death on the cross, his shed blood symbolized by the red roses. Divine light through the Holy Spirit dove illuminates Mary, making her a primary focus of the piece. Mary’s pose is one of acceptance while holding a book in her lap, representing the fulfillment of the scriptures.

Artist:Angelico, fra, approximately 1400-1455
Building:Museo del Prado
Object/Function:Painting, panel

Scripture:Luke 1:26-38
Person as Subject:Mary, the mother of Jesus (Biblical figure)
Gabriel (archangel)
Lectionary links:BAdvt04
General Subject:Annunciation to Mary

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Copyright Source:,_prado.jpg
Copyright Permission:Please visit the URL in the Copyright Source field on this page for details about reusing this image.
Attribution:Angelico, fra, approximately 1400-1455. Annunciation to Mary, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved December 9, 2023]. Original source:,_prado.jpg.
Record Number:56337 Last Updated: 2022-04-18 19:21:00 Record Created: 2017-10-17 09:54:10
Institution:Vanderbilt University Unit: Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition