The Annunciation Explored through the Era of Italian Renaissance Essay

The Annunciation Explored through the Era of Italian Renaissance Essay

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The Annunciation is a Christian celebration of the iconic moment that the archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother to the Son of God, Jesus. The story of the Annunciation derives chiefly from the biblical Gospel of Luke, and has been portrayed abundantly and variously in many visual art forms from the earliest centuries of Christianity and Christian iconography. This essay will explore the depiction of the Annunciation and symbolism in the period of the Italian Renaissance and pay particular attention towards the development of the focus on spiritualism towards naturalism through the refined language of expression and gesture from the 14th century to the late 15th century.
As a student of Duccio di Buoninsegna who was an Italian artist and actively worked in the city of Siena, Tuscany, Simone Martini's most famous painting "The Annunciation and the Two Saints" (1333) (Fig. 1) shows influence of the Sienese style of painting at a time when Byzantine art was very popular in the 14th century (Kleiner, 2010:387). This is made evident by the expansive use of gold in the background space behind the figures and flowing throughout the panelled-painting, the attention paid particularly to decorative pattern, as well as the detail and subtle use of sinuous line and rich colours to create pattern, which are all characteristics of Sienese-styled religious iconography. The painting is considered very beautiful, executed with tight, elegant brushstrokes and bears a medieval interest in the representation of the supernatural and spiritual.
The overall artwork is composed of a large panel containing 'The Annunciation' with two others flanking it said to have been painted by Lippo Memmi, wh...

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...w York, NY. Britannica Educational Publishing.
- Kulenovic, R. 2004. The Annuncition Lionardo da Vinci [online]. Available: [2014, May 14th]
- Bibliography
- Shea, R. 2004. Marcia Myers: Twenty Years Paintings & Works on Paper 1982–2002. Manchester, United States: Hudson Hills.
- The Bible: English Standard Version. 2001. Illinois, United States of America. Crossway Bibles.
- Van Dijk, A. 1999. The Angelic Salutation in Early Byzantine and Medieval Annunciation Imagery. The Art Bulletin. 81(3): 420-436).
- Von Rohr Scaff, S. 2002. The Virgin Annunciate in Italian Art of the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance. College Literature. 29(3):109-123.
- Web Gallery of Art. n.d. Available: [2014, May 10th]

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