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The Annunciation El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)


El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) Candia (Crete), 1541 – Toledo, 1614

Culture Spanish
Date ca. 1600
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on canvas

91 × 66.5 cm

Inventory number 3537
Collection Old Master Paintings
On view This artwork is not on display

In the picture of the Prado treating the same subject and painted in Venice, El Greco placed the Annunciation scene in a dynamic architectural setting and enlivened it with a group of cherubs. In this version, dating from the last years of the 16th century, the interior of the room is filled with clouds and flashing lights, in a way that the objects surrounding the Virgin – the simple prie-dieu, the book opening like a fan, the sewing-basket and the vase – are removed from real space and saturated with mystic significance. The wide, emphatic arc of the drapery covering the Virgin’s knees seems only to make her small head and narrow, transfigured face appear as distant from us and as close to the heavenly messenger as possible.

Vilmos Tátrai

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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