Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Archangel Gabriel announcing the birth of Christ

Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden)
Pen and brown ink; traces of squaring in black chalk
Sheet: 8 5/16 x 6 1/2 in. (21.1 x 16.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Promised Gift of Leon D. and Debra R. Black, and Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift and 2007 Benefit Fund, 2008
Accession Number:
Not on view
Lucas van Leyden, considered by many to be the first major Dutch artist, built his international fame almost exclusively upon his work as a printmaker. This drawing, one of fewer than thirty accepted as by him, is the latest addition to Lucas’s small drawn oeuvre. The sheet complements one of comparable size and technique in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, which depicts the Virgin looking up in surprise at hearing the archangel’s message, and in which Lucas similarly married the figure’s monumentality with a rich and subtle pattern of lines, hatchings, and cross-hatchings.
Signature: At lower center, inscribed: "L", the artist's monogram

Inscription: Verso: at lower centre, inscribed "38" in a circle, in graphite (20th-century handwriting); at lower center, inscribed "L. V. Leyden" in graphite (19th- or 20th-century handwriting)
Sale, Christie's, London, June 12, 2005, lot 209(as an anonymous 'unframed old master drawing', with six sketches by the British artist William Frederick Witherington, 1785-1865); Private Collection; Vendor: Sotheby's, New York, private sale Donor: Leon D. and Debra R. Black, New York
Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal. "Lucas van Leyden and the Renaissance," March 17, 2011–June 26, 2011.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paper Chase: Two Decades of Collecting Drawings and Prints," December 9, 2014–March 16, 2015.

Christie's, London Maritime Pictures and Watercolours. [Sale catalogue]. June 12, 2005, cat. 209 (as an unframed old master drawing by another hand).

Stijn Alsteens, Nadine Orenstein "Dutch and Flemish drawings, prints and books recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art." in Codart Courant. vol. 20, 2010, pp.4-5, ill.

Stijn Alsteens, Carmen C. Bambach, Perrin Stein "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2008-2010." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 68, no. 2, Fall 2010, pp. 2, 22 (entry written by Stijn Alsteens), ill.

Dr. Christiaan Vogelaar, Jan Piet Filedt Kok, Huigen Leeflang, Ilja Veldman, Wouter Kloek Lucas van Leyden en de Renaissance. Exh. cat., Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, in cooperation with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 20 March through 26 June. Leiden, 2011, cat. 85.a (entry written by Wouter Kloek), ill.

Related Objects

The Crucifixion used in Missale Traiectense (Utrecht Missal), Leiden, 1514

Artist: Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden) Date: ca. 1512 Medium: Woodcut printed on vellum with letterpress type printed in black and red on verso Accession: 2009.162 On view in:Not on view

Abraham Going to Sacrifice Isaac

Artist: Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden) Date: 1517–19 Medium: Woodcut; first state Accession: 25.2.63 On view in:Not on view

The Poet Virgil in a Basket

Artist: Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden) Date: 1525 Medium: Engraving; first state Accession: 41.1.23 On view in:Not on view

Emperor Maximilian

Artist: Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden) Date: 1520 Medium: Etching and engraving Accession: 19.53 On view in:Not on view

Saint Peter

Artist: Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden) and Workshop Date: 1515 Medium: Woodcut, hand-colored Accession: 18.17.2-187 On view in:Not on view