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The Archangel Gabriel has just landed – his gilded peacock-like wings still raised – interrupting the Virgin Mary from her reading. She stares at her visitor in terror and gathers her cloak around her in fear. This is the Annunciation, the moment Gabriel told the Virgin that she would conceive the Son of God. The Holy Ghost who would impregnate her is shown here as a dove, with a gilded halo, flying in above Gabriel’s head. Strozzi has included Gabriel’s greeting in gold in the border of his pink dress, ‘Ave Maria’ (‘Hail Mary!’). This picture is a variant of paintings of the Annunciation by Strozzi’s teacher, the Florentine painter and friar, Fra Angelico. This panel was cut in half some time before it entered the National Gallery’s collection.
Egg tempera on wood
H 104.5 x W 142 cm