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This painting shows the Annunciation, the moment that the Archangel Gabriel tells the Virgin Mary that she will become the mother of Jesus, God's son. Gabriel rushes in with the news, which Mary humbly accepts, as we can see from her body language. The scene is set in the style of architecture which was contemporary at the time the picture was painted. The work is particularly notable for Botticelli's use of mathematical perspective, giving an impression of believable three-dimensional depth, even though the image is painted on a flat surface. This effect is particularly noticeable on the left-hand side behind Gabriel, where a colonnade leads to a distant lake and trees.
tempera on panel
H 49.5 x W 61.9 cm
Archibald McLellan Collection, purchased, 1856