The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Annunciation

Object Details


The Annunciation


Taddeo Crivelli (Italian, died about 1479, active about 1451 - 1479)




Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Place Created)


about 1469


Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. Ludwig IX 13 (83.ML.109), fol. 3v


Leaf: 10.8 × 7.9 cm (4 1/4 × 3 1/8 in.)

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Object Description

On a vibrant tile floor of alternating colors, the Virgin Mary kneels within the deep receding space of the chapel. Suddenly she is interrupted at her daily devotions by the angel Gabriel, who announces that she will bear the Messiah. An abbreviated version of Gabriel's words, taken from Luke's Gospel, appears on the top of the frame in classical Roman letters: Ave gracia plena(Hail, full of grace).

In contrast to the central image's use of perspective to suggest the illusion of depth, the space of the border bursts out into the viewer's space with feats of trompe l'oeil illusionism. The putto on the left, wrapped in a swirling scroll of music, pushes his right foot into the viewer's space while his wings overlap the outer frame. Naturalistic elements, including flowers, peacocks, and trees, crowd the border, interspersed with Renaissance heraldic devices with Gualengo's personal mottoes.

This miniature of the Annunciation faces the beginning of the text of the service of Matins in the Hours of the Virgin.

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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 18 to July 2, 1989
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  • Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Nuremberg), June 19 to October 10, 1993
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  • Museo Civico di Schifanoia (Ferrara), March 1 to May 31, 1998
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  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 11 to June 1, 2003
Cosmè Tura e Francesco del Cossa: L'arte a Ferrara nell'età di Borso d'Este (September 23, 2007 to January 6, 2008)
  • Palazzo dei Diamanti (Ferrara), September 23, 2007 to January 6, 2008
Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts (March 31 to June 21, 2015)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 31 to June 21, 2015