Sassetta (Stefano di Giovanni) (Italian, Siena or Cortona ca. 1400–1450 Siena)
Tempera on wood, gold ground
Overall, with engaged (modern) frame, 30 x 17 1/8 in. (76.2 x 43.5 cm); painted surface 28 3/4 x 16 1/8 in. (73 x 41 cm)
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 956
The vase of lilies, prominently placed between the Angel Gabriel and the Virgin in this Annunciation scene, symbolizes both the Virgin’s purity as well as Christ’s Incarnation. The panel was originally part of the highly celebrated altarpiece that Sassetta, the renowned Sienese artist, painted between 1437 and 1444 for the Franciscan church of Borgo San Sepolcro in Arezzo. The Annunciation formed the central pinnacle on the back side of this multi-paneled, double-sided altarpiece. The panel has been the subject of considerable abrasion, repainting, and has been cut down in size.
The panel bears a Florentine export stamp dated April 7, 1927. Vicomte Bernard d'Hendecourt, Paris; Ercole Canessa, New York; Alfred S. Seligsberg; sale American Art Association, New York. January 13, 1934, no. 534. Acquired by Robert Lehman in 1934.