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The Annunciation

Francisco de Zurbarán, Spanish, 1598 - 1664

Made in Seville, Spain, Europe


Oil on canvas

7 feet 1 5/8 inches × 10 feet 4 1/2 inches (217.5 × 316.2 cm) Framed: 7 feet 8 1/2 inches × 10 feet 11 3/4 inches × 4 inches (235 × 334.6 × 10.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 358, European Art 1500-1850, third floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the W. P. Wilstach Fund, 1900

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This painting depicts the archangel Gabriel announcing to the Virgin Mary that she will bear the son of God. Overhead, the dove of the Holy Spirit hovers among lively angels. The trend in Spanish art toward more intimate and emotional portrayals of religious scenes is evident in the crisply painted details of the book, furniture, and garments contrast with the smoky shadows around the faces of the two main figures, evoking both the physical reality and psychological intensity of the event.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.