Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, so it seems appropriate to feature this Annunciation by Fra Angelico for the Advent Calendar. I have known that I wanted to use this painting since the beginning of the month, it was just a question of when. I love the work of Italian monk Guido di Pietro, aka Fra Angelico (c. 1395-1455) because it is so soft, elegant, and refined, yet highly effective. I particularly enjoy the figure of Gabriel in this painting – his graceful posture, pale pink robe, and detailed wings. Fra Angelico’s Annunciation isn’t as dramatic as many other masters’ interpretations of this event, yet I find that I can’t stop looking at it, possibly for that very reason.