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.
Alexandra Kiely, aka A Scholarly Skater, is an art historian based in the northeastern United States. She loves wandering down the dark and dusty corners of art history and wholeheartedly believes in visual art's ability to enrich every person's life.
Her favorite periods of art history are 19th-century American painting and medieval European art and architecture. When she not looking at, reading about, writing about, or teaching art, she's probably ice dancing or reading.
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3 thoughts on “December 8th: Annunciation by Fra Angelico”
Thanks. One of the great works of art – in situ almost overwhelming in its tender beauty. Regards Thom.
Yes, our art history teacher takes our students to San Marco about once in a month, on saturday, as part of our extracurricular program. Our students come from many countries around the world, and many of them are not so interested or involved in art history – but the sudden epiphany of this masterpiece on the top of the stairs really “shocks” them with a experience of beauty.
There’s something so simple about it. It’s not trying too hard, which I think is why it affects people so strongly.