Presented by Richard Burke.
Paintings of the Annunciation — the moment when the Archangel Gabriel tells Mary that she is to be the mother of God’s son — depict an essential encounter between the human and the celestial in the Christian tradition. The Annunciation is an intrinsically dramatic scene and has been the subject of countless paintings and other works of art. Many famous painters, such as Duccio, Sandro Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Jan van Eyck, and Rogier van der Weyden, produced beautiful depictions of the scene, as well as countless nameless artists, such as those whose work adorns the Royal Doors in every Russian Orthodox church. While the range of these works is wonderfully broad, the paintings commonly follow certain conventions, which create both continuity and the opportunity for striking deviations. Understanding the different figures, varied contents, and rich symbolism on display in these paintings enriches our appreciation and enjoyment of them.
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