The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Annunciation

Object Details

Title:

The Annunciation

Artist/Maker:

Tommaso del Mazza (Italian, active 1377 - 1392)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1390–1395

Medium:

Tempera and gold leaf on panel

Object Number:

71.PB.21

Dimensions:

128.3 × 92.1 cm (50 1/2 × 36 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

The words Ave gratia plena Dominus tecum (Greetings most favored one! The Lord is with you) from Saint Luke’s Gospel (1:8) emerge from the archangel Gabriel’s mouth as he announces the conception of Christ to the Virgin Mary. In Mary’s lap the Bible is opened to the prophecy of Isaiah: “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son...” (Isaiah 7:14). Mary leans forward, gently touching her chest in acknowledgment of her destiny. Above, God the Father appears in a mandorla of red and blue angels (seraphim and cherubim respectively) as the dove of the Holy Spirit descends to Mary at the moment of incarnation.

Tommaso del Mazza, once known only as the Master of Santa Verdiana, was active in Florence and other Tuscan cities including Prato and Pisa in the final quarter of the fourteenth century. He belonged to a generation of artists who consciously revived the motifs and stylistic traits that had characterized Florentine painting in the earlier part of the century, in particular the celebrated work of Giotto and his followers.

Here, the ambiguous architectural spaces, the vivid colors, and lively narrative details are typical of Tommaso del Mazza’s mature style, when his artistic voice is most readily distinguished from those of his contemporaries.

Provenance
Provenance
-

Possibly Church of San Francesco, Pienza, commissioned by the Piccolomini Family for the family chapel.

by 1929 - early 1940s

Robert Langton Douglas, 1864 - 1951 (London, England)

- 1951

Private Collection [sold, Sotheby's, London, January 31, 1951, lot 18, for 400 pounds,- to Soames.]

1951 -
by 1954 - 1959

Julius H. Weitzner, American, 1896 - 1986 (London, England; New York, New York), sold to Heinz Kisters, 1959.

1959 - 1971

Heinz Kisters (Kreuzlingen, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1971.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
The Twilight of a Tradition (September 16 to December 7, 2008)
  • Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones University (Greenville), September 16 to December 7, 2008
The Art of Sleuthing (October 22, 2015 to May 28, 2017)
  • Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones University (Greenville), October 22, 2015 to May 27, 2017
Bibliography
Bibliography

Sotheby & Co., London. Catalogue of Old Master and Modern Paintings [...]. January 31, 1951, p. 5, lot 18.

Bellosi, Luciano. "Da Spinello Aretino a Lorenzo Monaco." Paragone 16, no. 187 (September 1965), p. 34.

Boskovits, Miklós. "Der Meister der Santa Verdiana." Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz 13 (1967), pp. 56, 58-59, fig. 25.

Klesse, Brigitte. Seidenstoffe in der italienischen Malerei des 14. Jahrhunderts (Bern: Stämpfli & Cie, 1967), p. 344, no. e, under no. 283.

Bologna, Ferdinando. Novità su Giotto: Giotto al tempo della cappella Peruzzi (Florence: Giulio Einaudi editore, 1969), pp. 15-16, fig. 23.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Catalogue of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972), p. 8, no. 9, ill.

Boskovits, Miklós. Pittura fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento, 1370-1400 (Florence: Edam, 1975), p. 385, fig. 354.

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), pp. 68, 76, ill.

Fremantle, Richard. Florentine Gothic Painters: From Giotto to Masaccio; A Guide to Painting in and near Florence, 1300 to 1450 (London: Martin Secker and Warburg, 1975), p. 297, fig. 602.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976), p. 61.

Frel, Jiri, Burton Fredericksen, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976), p. 61.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), p. 76.

Sutton, Denys. "New York." Apollo, special no. Robert Langton Douglas: Connoisseur of Art and Life (1979), pp. 228, 230, fig. 3.

Sutton, Denys. "Robert Langton Douglas and the Metropolitan Museum." Apollo 109, no. 208 (June 1979), pp. 36, 38, 233n6, fig. 3.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 5th ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), p. 63, ill.

Offner, Richard. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting: A Legacy of Attributions; The Fourteenth Century: Supplement. Hayden B. J. Maginnis, ed. (Glückstadt: J. J. Augustin, 1981), p. 45.

Eisenberg, Marvin. Lorenzo Monaco (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), pp. 71n164, 89.

Deimling, Barbara. "Il Maestro di Santa Verdiana: un polittico disperso e il problema dell'identificazione." Arte Cristiana 79 (1991), p. 406.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 83, ill.

Offner, Richard, et al. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting: Tradition and Innovation in Florentine Trecento Painting; Giovanni Bonsi-Tommaso del Mazza. Sec. 3, vol. 8. Miklós Boskovits, ed. (Florence: Giunti, 2000), pp. 123-25, 309-14, 316n11, fig. 7, pl. LVII-LVII.1.

Deimling, Barbara. "Tommaso del Mazza: The Portrait of a Painter in Late Trecento Florence." In Discovering a Pre-Renaissance Master: Tommaso del Mazza, exh. cat. Barbara Deimling  et al., eds. (Greenville: Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, 2009), pp. 9, 11, 15.

Nolan, John M. "Considerations on the Halo and Garment Patterns in the Work of Tommaso del Mazza." In Discovering a Pre-Renaissance Master: Tommaso del Mazza, exh. cat. Barbara Deimling et al., eds. (Greenville: Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, 2009), pp. 17-18, 21-27, figs. 14, 23, 26-28.

Szafran, Yvonne. "The Technical Examination of Three Panels by Tommaso del Mazza: Questions, Answers, and Conundrums." In Discovering a Pre-Renaissance Master: Tommaso del Mazza, exh. cat. Barbara Deimling et al., eds. (Greenville: Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, 2009), pp. 51-69, figs. 46, 49-52, 55, 59-62, 64-67.

Deimling, Barbara, et al., eds. Discovering a Pre-Renaissance Master: Tommaso del Mazza, exh. cat. (Greenville: Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, 2009), pp. 82-83, no. 7b, pl. 7b.