strangely enough, i’ve discovered that i have an affinity to images of the annunciation. there’s just something about them–i think it might be the shimmering wings and enchanting white lilies. whatever it is, it clearly resonates with my aesthetic and i always find myself drooling over these images whenever i stumble upon them.
Fra Angelico’s version, as i’ve said before, brought a smile to my face when I first saw it in reproduction. and then brought tears to my eyes when i had the opportunity to see it frescoed on the walls of San Marco. there’s something about how gabriel’s wings glimmer with an ethereal glamour in the darkness of the convent that makes this irreplaceable in my top 5.
oh, did i mention that many of these images are golden altarpieces like Simone Martini’s version? besides being a beautiful tribute to innocence, it is literally covered in gold leaf. when i rounded the corner into the room 3 of the uffizi, i was immediately mesmerized by Martini’s gilded masterpiece. i had seen it before numerous times before in textbooks, but i had no idea i was in for such a treat. again, gabriel’s wings are phenomenal and i love how his words float so gracefully through the air. but, my favorite part has to be mary’s face–she’s glaring at the archangel as if she’s saying ‘whatchu talkin’ about fool?’ and it’s fabulous.
but my favorite annunziata of them all has to be Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s. the triad of primary colors creates a dynamism in this image that is undeniably powerful. the delicacy of their white robes and of the lily emanates a sense of tenderness in the moment, ultimately forcing the viewer to be captivated by the painting’s beauty. i love the stylized flatness of Rossetti’s work—-ooh, i could go on for hours.
there are many other beautiful annunciations that have temporarily taken my breath, these three, however, have made my heart skip a beat.
click images for sources.