Sandro Botticelli, Santa Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi Annunciation

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Sandro Botticelli

Santa Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi Annunciation (1489)

The scene depicts the moment in which the Virgin Mary agrees to carry and give birth to the Christ child. The angel Gabriel appears to the Virgin to inform her of the vital role she will play in the arrival of God in the flesh.

  The kneeling angel Gabriel wears a crimson gown and holds a lily, while the Virgin recoils with downcast eyes, indicating the range of emotions she feels of surprise, humility, and submission. The plainness of the room accentuates the expressiveness of the figures, whose bright clothing stands out against the sober setting.

  The red and white tile floor recedes toward a detailed landscape in the background that includes a castle, rivers, and green hills. The landscape provides a balance to the sparse interior and situates the scene within a larger setting.


Legouix, Susan. Botticelli. London: Chaucer Press, 2004. Pg 103.

Lightbown, Ronald. Sandro Botticelli: Life and Work (vol. 1). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978. Pg 108.