(b. 1445, Firenze, d. 1510, Firenze)

Cestello Annunciation (in frame)

Tempera on panel, 150 x 156 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

The picture, commissioned in 1489, was painted for the church of the Florentine convent of Cestello (today Santa Maria Maddalena de'Pazzi) in Borgo Pinti.

Botticelli enables the observer to look through a room structured according to the laws of perspective and across the red floor tiles, along its converging lines, out onto a landscape. The lively movement of the figures contrasts with these spatial dynamics, which lead towards the background. There is a diagonal line running from the edge of Gabriel's robes to his raised hand, and it continues in the arm which Mary is holding across her chest. The angel's robes, which are billowing in great folds, show that he has just made a sweeping landing. Gabriel is kneeling reverently in front of Mary and his mouth, which is slightly open, suggests that he is in the process of speaking the words of St. Luke's Gospel, which are written underneath him in Latin on the painting's original frame: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee."