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The Archangel Gabriel tells Mary that the Holy Spirit, symbolised by the descending dove, will cause her to bear the Son of God (Luke I, 38). Mary is shown enthroned, symbolising her future role as Queen of Heaven, and reading at a lectern from the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son’. The angel kneels before her bearing a lily symbolising the purity of the Virgin. At first sight the panels might appear to be wings of a triptych, but their mismatched backgrounds indicate that they are elements of a larger panel which was cut to eliminate the central space between the two figures. The prominent architectural details and full-lipped figures are typical of an artist working in Cremona in the wake of the better-known Cosimo Tura.

The Wallace Collection



The Annunciation




tempera on oak panel


H 43.4 x W 27 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Sir Richard Wallace, 1872; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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