MASTER of the Aix Annunciation
(active in 1440s)

The Annunciation (detail)

Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, Aix-en-Provence

The scene is placed within a spacious Gothic cathedral, or, more specifically, in its vestibule. This in itself is symbolic; as a church can only be entered after passing through the porch, so the Church, conceived in both meanings as a building and an organization, cannot come into being without the incarnation of Jesus. The rich colours are used to stress the central importance of Mary; the lily in the vase is a reference to her miraculous virginity. Fine-spun yellow hair frames the face downcast in devout attention; her kneeling figure is enveloped in the gold-shot fabric of her mantle, made of the famous "Tours" brocade, and the whole is effectively enclosed in the sombre greys of the walls.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.