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Virgin of the Annunciation

Virgin of the Annunciation

Artist: Alvaro Pirez (active 1411-1434)

Date: Early 1420s
Medium: Tempera and gold on wood
Frame: 58 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 4 in. (148.6 x 52.1 x 10.2 cm)
Image: 50 1/4 x 18 3/8 in. (127.6 x 46.7 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of John Ringling, 1936
Object number: SN11
On View: Art Museum Gallery 04
About this ObjectHeralding Christ's birth, the Archangel Gabriel appears to the Virgin. The figures' stylized poses and gestures, the textiles' decorative patterning, and the liberal use of bold colors and gold are longstanding conventions of early Italian painting. The figures' weightiness and their elegantly draped garments, however, demonstrate the artist's burgeoning modernity. Observe, for example, the Archangel's robe falling in realistic yet gracefully curving folds over his solidly bended knee. These panels once crowned a large altarpiece, now dismembered and dispersed.
Émile Gavet (1829–1904), Paris; sold in or after 1889 and before 1895 to William K. Vanderbilt (1849–1920) and Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt (1853–1933, from 1896, Mrs. Oliver Belmont) and installed in the Gothic Room of Marble House, Newport, Rhode Island; sold in 1927 by Mrs. Belmont through Duveen Brothers, New York, to John Ringling (1866–1936), Sarasota, Florida; bequest in 1936 to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida.
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