STROZZI, Bernardo
(b. 1581, Genova, d. 1644, Venezia)

The Annunciation

1643-44
Oil on canvas, 145 x 120 cm
Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest

At the age of seventeen the Genoese Bernardo Strozzi became a Capuchin monk (hence his nicknames of "Il Capucino" or "Il Prete Genovese"), but in 1610 he left his convent in order to tto support his mother and sister by his work as a painter. When the former died and the latter married he was recalled by his order but disobeyed and, to escape imprisonment, fled to Venice where he spent the rest of his life. Influenced to some extent by the painters of Venice but mainly by Caravaggio and Rubens, Strozzi was a versatile and extraordinarily prolific artist, whose work comprises nearly every kind of painting - frescoes, altarpieces, genre scenes and portraits. His approach was natural and robust, his forms vigorous and his colours warm, even fiery. The Annunciation was painted during his late Venetian period.