The Annunciation

Petrus Christus Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 605

This Annunciation is exceptional for its bird’s-eye view and outdoor setting. Sheltered in the doorway of a church and greeted by Gabriel, Mary is presented not only as the recipient of the message of the Incarnation, but also as the personification of the Church (Ecclesia). The architecture, which is part Romanesque (right) and part Gothic (left), refers to the coming of Christ and the transition from Judaism to Christianity. A fragment of a larger composition, the picture is notable for its meticulous observation of plant life.

The Annunciation, Petrus Christus (Netherlandish, Baarle-Hertog (Baerle-Duc), active by 1444–died 1475/76 Bruges), Oil on wood

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