About this artwork
Alessandro Vittoria translated into bronze the flickering light of Venetian Renaissance paintings. Working in wax (from which the finished bronze was then cast), he manipulated this relief’s form and edges to catch the light. The result is a highly animated surface in which everything—figures, drapery, clouds, and sky—seems to move with excitement, heightening the drama between the startled Virgin Mary and the archangel Gabriel, who has descended from heaven to announce that Mary will bear the son of God. Fully sculpted in the round, the archangel’s arm points to the smallest feature in the scene: a dove, representing the Holy Spirit of the Christian Trinity.
This sculpture was commissioned by Hans Fugger, a member of a prominent Augsburg banking family, to decorate an altarpiece for the chapel of his family’s castle in Kirchheim in the Swabia region of Germany.
- Alessandro Vittoria
- The Annunciation
- Italy (Object made in)
- 97.8 × 61.6 cm (38 1/2 × 24 1/4 in.)
- Edward E. Ayer Endowment in memory of Charles L. Hutchinson