TIBALDI, Pellegrino
(b. 1527, Puria (Valsolda), d. 1596, Milano)

Annunciation of the Birth of John the Baptist

1551-53
Fresco
San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna

The young Pellegrino Tibaldi, who was one of Daniele da Volterra's assistants in Rome, executed two murals in the newly constructed chapel of Cardinal Giovanni Poggi in San Giacomo, Bologna. The chapel, which is dedicated to John the Baptist, has an elaborate system of architectonic articulation. Tibaldi's frescoes (The Sermon of John the Baptist; Annunciation of the Birth of John the Baptist) are restricted to one large field each on the left and right walls. The frescoes are distinguished by unconventional iconography, learned allegory, and newly invented moments in history, that are at the same time commented on by painted manifestations in the heavens.

In the right-hand mural Elizabeth is in the temple forecourt hearing of the promise of a son. Above that God in heaven is sending his messenger into the world. This bearded, flying figure is not an angel, but John himself.