Abner's Messenger before David (?); The Queen of Sheba Bringing Gifts to Solomon; The Annunciation

Artist: Master of the Saint Barbara Legend (Netherlandish, active late 15th century)

Date: ca. 1480

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: Each panel 36 3/4 x 17 5/8 in. (93.3 x 44.8 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931

Accession Number: 32.100.56a–d


These panels, showing narrative scenes of Abner's Messenger before David (?) and The Queen of Sheba Bringing Gifts to Solomon, once formed the interior wings of a triptych. The Annunciation on the reverse sides would have been visible when the altarpiece was closed. Painted in grisaille in imitation of stone sculpture, the Annunciation acted as a prelude to the theme of Christ’s Incarnation represented in the Adoration of the Magi of the triptych’s central panel (Galleria Colonna, Rome).