About this artwork
The Annunciation was one of eight scenes from the life of the Virgin decorating the inside of the wings of Johann Koerbecke’s masterpiece, the altarpiece formerly on the high altar of the Cistercian abbey of Marienfeld, near Münster in northwest Germany. The wings framed the altarpiece’s center, where relics and a gilded statue of the Virgin and Child were displayed when the altarpiece was opened on feast days. The gilded backgrounds and festive architecture of the wings enhanced the splendor of the open altarpiece. The backs of the moveable wings, decorated with more somber Passion subjects in naturalistic landscape settings, were visible when the altarpiece was closed. The ensemble was dismantled in the late 17th century, and the panels were dispersed in the early 19th century, after the wings had been sawn apart, separating the Passion scenes from those on the interior.
- Johann Koerbecke
- The Annunciation
- Oil on panel, transferred to canvas
- Inscribed: [a]ve gratia plena dominus tecum (on Gabriel’s scroll)
- Panel: 93.3 × 65.8 cm (36 3/4 × 25 7/8 in.); Painted Surface: 36 3/16 × 25 1/4 in.
- Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection