CIMA da Conegliano
(b. ca. 1459, Conegliano, d. 1517/18, Conegliano)
Tempera and oil on canvas transferred from wood, 136 x 107 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
In the illusory space skillfully created by perspective, the divine light that, by medieval tradition, accompanied the Archangel Gabriel as he brought the news of Christ's conception seems real. We do not immediately notice that this source - and not the sun - illuminates the messenger. A rush of air bursts into the room with him, fluttering his robe, hair, and even the parchment that carries a list of those who commissioned the work as well as the artist's signature.
The painting is signed and dated on the parchment set on the step of the bed. Due to restorations the colours are considerably faded.