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)
Promised Gift of Leon D. and Debra R. Black, and Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift and 2007 Benefit Fund, 2008
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 cat. 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.