New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Annuciation - Fra Angelico

Today let us just admire this work of art by Fra Angelico. Let us go beyond admiration and contemplate it.

(Fra Angelico. Altarpiece of the Annunciation. c. 1430-1432. Tempera on panel. 194 x 194. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.)

This is the Annunciation, Our Lady has already given her Fiat to God as you can see the golden rays indicate her being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. The Angel Gabriel is waiting with eyes bowed low for the Mother of God to say but one word and the Angel is ready to obey Her. God the Father looks down on them in approval. Notice how colourfully dressed our Lady is as well as the angle. They reflect the colourfulness of heaven and in their faces one sees the joy of heaven.

Notice in the top left corner, St Michael the Archangel is leading Adam and Eve out of the garden. The garden is lush in greenery, St Micheal is sad as he assists them out of the garden, He knows what is to happen to man. Adam and Eve themselves are sad becasue they know that things have changed and they are aware of what they have lost. notice that their clothes are grey and sad, unline the angels and the mother of God.

Lastly notice Angel Gabriels wings are a bit outside, indicating that while he is with Mother Mary he is also outside in the world doing what She tells him to do (distribute God's graces). I personally love the look on Angel Gabriels face


Anonymous said...

so i came across your blog doing a google search for the work annunciation by fra angelico for an ap art history assignment and while i really enjoyed reading your analysis of the work, i just feel i should mention that that is not actually the work by fra angelico; his has a fence in the background and not a forest... and the virgin mary and the archangel gabriel are the only two figures in the work.

Smiley said...

Dear Anonymous.

This is Fra Angelico's painting. This is where the painting is located at

Fra Angelico. Altarpiece of the Annunciation. c. 1430-1432. Tempera on panel. 194 x 194. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

I would like to enroll you for my prize draw so if you could put some contact information I would be highly appreciative

Anonymous said...

I love the analysis I understand this more, and brings more then I would of ever even notice to look at.