Italian Renaissance Style Tempera on Gold Ground Panel Painting the Annunciation

Italian Renaissance Style Tempera on Gold Ground Panel Painting the Annunciation

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This Italian tempera painted on gilt wood gold ground panel  is a Tuscan religious artwork in the style of late Renaissance - early Gothic period. The scene portrays the visit of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce to her that she would be be the mother of God. At the top, a painted roundel (tondo) with the figure of a blessing God and a sacrificial lamb.

On a gold background, the figures of the Angel Gabriel, the Virgin and God the Blessing Father enhance the Gothic line of the richly and deeply carved frame, boasting architectural elements such as columns, capitals and a scrolled tympanum. The finely carved and inlaid architectural frame is gilded with gold leaf too.

This painting on wooden panel is probably a portion of a complete altarpiece because the natural composition of the scene–two parallel figures, often elegantly clad–the subject was often employed in the decoration of a diptych or tympaneum (decorated arch above a doorway) hand made in different shapes and sizes and were used for private and public devotion.

The religious scene is set in a loggia of columns and arches, the angel appears to Mary while She is reading. Gabriel, shown in profile, his richly painted wings extending out through the colonnade, their upper tips marking the centre of the picture. The dove at the upper right, is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

The figures of the Virgin Mary and the Archangel Gabriel, being emblematic of purity and grace, were favorite subjects of many painters such as Duccio di Buoninsegna, Giotto, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Beato Angelico among others. 

In its elegance of line and rhythm, the exquisitely rendered details of costume, setting, and symbols, and the fragile sentiment of the participants in the sacred event, the Annunciation is a supreme masterpiece in the history of lyrical art.

This wonderful tempera painting fuses the International Gothic style with contemporary Florentine painting trends of Renaissance period. The gold ground in this painting is used both for the backdrop and halo also for the frame.

The term ‘gold-ground’ usually refers to religious panel paintings made during the late Middle Ages in Italy. The vast majority of these artworks are Italian. There, the two greatest centres of production were Florence and Siena.

Gold, unlike any other colour, has the ability to radiate a warm, glowing light. And when viewed by the flickering flame of a candle, gold shimmers with life. 

Very good overall condition. Slight loss in the gilding and color in tiny portion as visible in the pictures. The gilding has been fixed to avoid further color loss. Possibility of restoration with our specialized restorers on request and for a fee. We can provide a quote.


H.123, W.102, D. 5 cm


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