(b. ca. 1400, Vicchio nell Mugello, d. 1455, Roma)
Annunciation (Cell 3)1440-42
Fresco, 176 x 148 cm
Convento di San Marco, Florence
This is the fresco on the wall of Cell 3 of the Convento di San Marco in Florence.
On the left St Peter the Martyr is represented. This is a favourite theme, here simplified. A contribution of Angelico's pupils can be assumed.
The composition of this fresco is severe in the extreme. The Virgin inhabits not a house but a cell as Spartan as that in which the fresco is painted, and beyond Gabriel and Mary the eye meets only a plain blank wall. The one piece of decoration, the capital of the column, is deliberately obscured by the wing of the angel. Here and throughout the series the pallet is extremely restrained, as if Angelico thought rich and varied colours were as likely as decoration to distract the friars from spiritual contemplation.