Today, 25 March, nine months before Christmas, the Christian Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation (Lady Day), which commemorates the visit of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The Annunciation has been one of the most frequent subjects of Christian art and a lot of works on the subject were made by great artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Lorenzo Lotto, Caravaggio, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Jan van Eyck, and Murillo or the frescos of Giotto or Domenico Ghirlandaio among others.

L’Annunciata – The Virgin Annunciate, by Antonello da Messina (1430 – 1479) is an oil painting probably made around 1476 and housed in Palermo.
This unusually simple depiction of Mary is a bit enigmatic and truly innovative breaking up the traditional composition of the Annunciation scene.
Most of the paintings of this event also include Gabriel, who came to announce to the Virgin that she would bear God’s son.
However, Antonello da Messina decided that Gabriel was not necessary to tell this story and condensed the sacred event into the single figure of the Mary.
She is shown looking at an unseen angel out of picture, to the left, while it is the viewer who stands in front of the girl at this key moment.
The artist focuses on the personal and intimistic aspect of the scene, underlining the psychological effects of what is happening on the pensive and realistic figure of the Virgin, represented as a young Jewish woman surprised by the words spoken of her.

With her right hand stretched forward, she seems to respond to the visitor’s arrival: her gesture, which may reveal awareness as well as surprise, is raised in a blessing gesture of greeting or blessing, or to express consent to the request she has just received. It may also indicate an attempt to stop for a moment the amazing message of the Archangel, silently asking not to go any further. Antonello da Messina succeeds in translating this complex state into an eloquent and beautiful painting , full of life. Doesn’t it seem that a thin breath of wind, caused by the Archangel who, on arriving, has stirred the air around him, moves the pages of the book on the lectern?

🌸 🌿 🌸 🌿 🌸 🌿 🌸

Oggi, 25 marzo, nove mesi prima di Natale, la Chiesa cristiana celebra la festa dell’Annunciazione che commemora la visita dell’arcangelo Gabriele alla Vergine Maria, durante la quale la informò che sarebbe stata la madre di Gesù Cristo, il Figlio di Dio.

L’Annunciazione è stato uno dei soggetti più frequenti dell’arte cristiana e molte opere sull’argomento sono state realizzate da grandi artisti come Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Lorenzo Lotto, Caravaggio, Duccio di Buoninsegna, Jan van Eyck e Murillo per non parlare degli affreschi di Giotto o Domenico Ghirlandaio.

L’Annunciata di Antonello da Messina (1430 – 1479) è un dipinto a olio su tavola realizzato intorno al 1476 e conservato a Palermo.
Questa rappresentazione insolitamente semplice di Maria è enigmatica e davvero innovativa, spezzando la tradizionale composizione della scena dell’Annunciazione.
La maggior parte dei dipinti di questo evento infatti include anche l’arcangelo Gabriele, giunto per annunciare alla Vergine che avrebbe partorito il figlio di Dio.
Antonello da Messina decise tuttavia che Gabriele non era necessario per narrare questa storia e condensò l’evento sacro nell’unica figura di Maria.
Ella è rappresentata mentre guarda un angelo che è invisibile fuori dall’inquadratura, sulla sinistra, mentre è lo spettatore che si pone di fronte alla giovane in questo momento cruciale.
L’artista si concentra sull’aspetto personale e intimistico della scena, sottolineando gli effetti psicologici di quanto sta capitando sulla figura pensosa e realistica della Vergine, rappresentata come una ragazza ebrea sorpresa dalle parole appena udite.

Con la mano destra protesa in avanti sembra quasi rispondere all’arrivo del visitatore: il suo gesto, che può rivelare consapevolezza oltre che sorpresa, è alzato in un gesto di saluto o di benedizione a Gabriele, oppure per esprimere il suo consenso alla richiesta appena ricevuta . Potrebbe anche indicare un tentativo di fermare un attimo il sorprendente messaggio dell’Arcangelo, chiedendogli in silenzio di non andare oltre. Antonello da Messina riesce a tradurre questo complesso stato d’animo in un’ immagine eloquente, stupenda e piena di vita. Non sembra che un sottile alito di vento, causato dall’Arcangelo che al suo arrivo ha smosso l’aria attorno a lui, faccia muovere le pagine del libro sul leggio?

74 thoughts on “L’Annunciata

  1. Davvero un ottimo articolo. Effettivamente è sempre stato un dipinto fuori da ogni canone, con una composizione davvero differente. Sarà anche per questo motivo che l’apprezzai molto ai tempi del liceo.

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  2. This is n unusual setting, as well, I think. She is often depicted as being roused from sleep by Gabriel but here she seems dressed and at devotions although unlikely to have had a book in this form. Very interesting. I was unfamiliar with this work and find it intriguing. Thank you for sharing it today. It is a dream of mine to visit Italy and will add this to my list of things to see. Cheers.


  3. Love the painting and I never give thought of that, I think we all are very focused on the birth of Christ we sometimes missed out the small details as this. Thank you for reminding us Luisa. ❤️


  4. So great picture and beautifully written about Virgin mom Mary and Lord Jesus 🌷🙏♥️
    This story we learned schooling time !! My friend presented me Mary carrying Lord
    Jesus photo 😀 we cherish memories always 🌷🙏♥️🌷😅

    Liked by 1 person

      1. WordPress still blocks me from giving a like.

        This Parshah opens with the 2nd sugia and therefore continues the subject of the concluding sugia of Parshat צו, the k’vanna of the anointing of the House of Aaron as Moshiach.  This second sugia begins ט:א – י: ז.  This Parshah contains 4 chapters.   When the prophet Shmuel anointed Shaul as king, rain fell during the dry season – not a good sign.  

        The reason, farmers leave their cut hay out in the fields.  Unexpected rainfall causes this baled hay to rot.  Consequently rainfall during the dry season qualifies as a curse, similar to locusts which consume the crops growing in the fields.   Hence ט:ו states: וירא אליכם כבוד.  Targum Uziel interprets this to mean that HaShem shall אעברו ית יצרא בישא מן לבכון… diminish the Evil Inclination within your heart. 

        An action has an equal and opposite reaction.   The language וירא implies fear.   Nothing corrupts the Good Name of a Man more than a lack of fear of heaven.   To what does a lack of fear of heaven compare?   To irresponsible children who can not see the consequences of their actions.  The opposing Yatzirot within the human heart compares to the action of a piston within an internal combustion engine.   The movement of the piston produces horsepower and heat, in a similar vein so too does the conflict between the opposing Yatzirot within the heart.

        Practically speaking, the anointing of the House of Aaron as Moshiach arouses an equal and opposite חילול השם within the Yatzir Ha’Rah.  The two eldest sons of Aaron dedicated a strange fire … avodah zarah … and died when fire (ברית אש) descended from heaven.  These sons of Aaron, according to Midrashim, felt ambitious jealousy against both Moshe and Aaron.   The sages refer to this tumah nature as “evil eye”.   The revelation of the Torah in the presence of an “evil eye” results in death.   Goyim throughout history have imposed their “evil eye” upon stateless refugee Jewish populations and brought murder rape theft and oppression, which has defined the whole of church history, as exemplified through the specific Shoah war crimes, just in the last Century alone.

        The korban of purification/tohorah from tumah initiated the opening korban of the House of Aaron as Moshiach.   Thereafter Moshe offered the burnt offering, in the dedication of the House of Aaron as the Cohen Moshiach.  Then followed the korban of tohorah for the Nation of Cohonim, the House of Israel, together with their blessing\curse korban Oleh.

        Then followed the shalom korban.  Moshe and Aaron blessed the chosen Cohen nation and fire came and consumed the korbanot, and fear consumed their hearts like the fire burned the korbanot upon the altar.  Aaron’s two sons offered strange fire and died.  The anointing of the House of Aaron as the Moshiach, this event qualifies as a Yom Tov.  Hence Moshe commanded that Aaron and his house could not mourn during the 7 days of the Yom Tov Moshiach dedication.   Herein the sages learn that a person cannot mix mourning with joy during the Yom Tov seasons.  Let’s learn  

        A slightly distant precedent דברים ה: יב – ו: ט.  As HaShem set shabbot distinct and apart from the days of chol, so too HaShem has chosen the Cohen nation as t’rumah from the Goyim chol.   As shabbot stands apart from the days of chol, so too HaShem took Israel out of Egypt.

        The רמז of ברית אש contained within בראשית, clearly compares to the precedent of דברים ה: כג.  Moshe alone made aliyah upon the mount and received the revelation of the משנה תורה, the Oral Torah lives within the Written Torah.  Herein defines the k’vanna of the opening p’suk of the kre’a shma.

        Monotheism violates the 2nd Sinai revelation commandment.  HaShem judges between the two Yatzirot within our hearts, do we possess the fear of heaven to unify the Written and Oral Torah as ONE.   Israel demanded that Moshe receive the rest of the Torah.   Moshe commands all generations of Israel to learn the Written Torah based upon the logic of the Oral Torah system of precedents.   The Oral Torah logic sh’itta separates Israel from Goyim like Shabbot from chol.

        Compare that slightly distant precedent with this precise precedent: דברים ו: טז – ז: יא.  Consider the mussar which the p’suk ו: כד commands:  לעשות את כל החקים האלה ליראה etc.  חוקים require Oral Torah to grasp their mussar k’vanna.  The chosen Cohen nation has a Torah oath brit obligation to obey דברים ז: יא.

        Compare the kabbalah of the Books of שמואל, the prophet who anointed David Moshiach.  An exact precise precedent ז: ג – ח: כב.  When Israel stood in dread and terror before the Pelishtim, HaShem judged the Gods of these Goyim just as in the days of Moshe before Par’o and Yehoshua before the 33 kings of Canaan.

        The sons of the prophet Shmuel corrupted justice by accepting bribes.   Alas all comes from heaven except fear of heaven.  Therefore Israel broke faith that HaShem as the KING who brought Israel out of Egypt and HaShem as the KING who delivered Israel from the Pelishtim oppression.  Israel broke the oath brit tefillen faith cut with HaShem, and requested that the prophet anoint a Moshiach king.  Shmuel warned the nation that just as his sons lacked fear of heaven, this curse too would plague all the kings of Israel.

        A slightly distant precedent שמואל א יד: יט – טו: יט.  King Shaul when he defeated the Pelishtim forbade the people from eating.  This curse his son and heir profaned.   Upon this cracked יסוד built the House of Shaul the Moshiach mitzva.  The first altar king Shaul, the anointed Moshiach built, stood on the cracked יסוד of the people eating living blood – כרת!

        King Shaul, the Moshiach, made a vow.   Had he trusted the sages they could have annulled his vow.  But this fear of heaven king Shaul lacked, he thereafter violated his vow unto HaShem.  The oath brit faith cut at Gilgal, expressed through the Order of the Rashi tefillen, king Shaul broke faith with this oath brit, due to his fear of the People and their anger.

        King Shaul, the anointed Moshiach by the hand of Shmuel the prophet, next received a direct commandment to make total war against Amaleq.  This commandment the king failed to obey.  The result of king Shaul’s lack of fear of heaven – HaShem rejected his House as the king Moshiach.

        Compare the slightly distant precedent יז: לז – כ: יז with the precise precedent: כ: א – כג: ג.  David understood the oath brit cut at Gilgal, expressed through the Order of the Rashi tefillin; David revealed the dominance of the fear of heaven within his heart.  David fought the battle לשמה.  Contrast king Shaul and his “Evil Eye”. 

        Lust and jealousy define each and every false messiah from Shaul to JeZeus; from 8th Century Yudghanites who believed in reincarnation based primarily upon Jewish assimilation to the doctrines preached by Sufis.  From the 12th Century false messiah David Alroy (Menahem ben Solomon) who spawned the Menahemist movement to the post Ari mysticism which spawned Shabbetai Zevi.

        Mystic kabbalah developed since publication of the Zohar after the public burning of the Talmud in Paris, France in 1242 has plagued Yiddishkeit.  Perhaps the most notorious false messiah Shabbetai Zevi, followed up by the 18th Century false messiah who claimed himself as the reincarnation of Zevi – Jacov Joseph Frank.  The bane of the Zohar inspired mysticism, it has infected the minds of Jewry to this day.  Many followers of the Lubavitch Rebbe proclaim him as the moshiach; they say the Rebbe never died.

        The anointing of the moshiach mitzvah centers upon leadership during times of war.  None of the false messiahs, including Bar Kochba succeeded to defeat the enemy in war like as did David.

        Another slightly distant precedent כג: טז – כה: לא.  David with his “Good Eye” spared the life of Shaul in the cave.  Many of the false messiahs, together with their followers, have an ‘evil eye’, comparable to Doeg the Edomite,  by which they strive to destroy the Jewish people.  David the anointed Moshiach fought a conflict with Shaul expressed through a ‘Good Eye’ always toward the king.  Yet David rebuked the king with a strong mussar: 
        כד: יד.  יאמר משל הקדמני: מרשעים יצא רשע.

        The ‘evil eye’ of Naval, נבל שמו ונבלה עמו, serves as a precedent which defines all false messiahs.  All false messiahs, together with their followers lack fear of heaven.  All false messiahs, who conduct a conflict, seek to avenge themselves upon their enemies.  JeZeus slandered the P’rushim.  The Amidah tefillah comes from a straight kabbalah learned from the prophets.  Yet JeZeus praised the kneeling prayer made by a tax collecting thief. (Luke 18:10 – 14). 

        That false messiah acknowledged the P’rushim sat in the seat of Moshe. (Matt. 23:2).   He commanded his followers to do and keep the P’rushim Oral Torah.  Yet he refers to the forerunners of rabbinic Judaism as a ‘brood of vipers’.   The judges of the Great Sanhedrin qualify as leaders of the Cohen nation, as exemplified in the authority the Mishnah has upon the Jewish people to this very day.  The Torah commands a negative commandment not to curse the rulers of your people.

        Rabban Gamaliel (Acts 5:33 -39) counseled tolerance in the Sanhedrin when Peter and other apostles stood before the Court.  In (Acts 23: 6 – 9) A P’rushim judge argued for the defense of Paul against the Tzeddukim during a Sanhedrin court trial.

        Avot א:ג: Antigonus of Socho, a 2nd Century BCE tanna, his mussar instructs:  “Do not behave like slaves who serve their master in order to receive a reward.  Rather respect the slaves who do not serve their master in order to receive a reward.”  Derech Eretz Rabbah, one of the minor tractates of the Talmud, ב: יג understands the mussar taught by Socho as: עושין מאהבה, do good deed out of love.  Contrast the tumah ‘evil eye’ of (Matt. 23: 3) “They preach, but they do not practice.”

        The P’rushim focused upon tithes to Levi, charity to orphans, poor, and widows, tefillah, and fasting.  The so called sermon on the mount too praised similar middot.  Compare Acts 10:2,4, 22, 30.  The followers of that false messiah fraud refer to their new testament as: the word of God.  Their ‘evil eye’ refers to the Talmud as: words of Men.  Who in fact qualifies as hypocrites?  “By their fruits you shall know them”.

        Another precise precedent כו: ח – כח: יד.  The hypocrisy of the false messiah Shaul.  A slightly distant precedent שמואל ב יב: יג – טז: יג compared to the precise exact precedent of טו: כה – כא: ו.  The moshiach contrasts with the ‘evil eye’ practiced by רשעים.  David fasted while his son still lived.  Amnon lusted for the ערוה Tamar the sister of Avshalom, a brother from another mother.  The mussar of the prophet shines clear, the distinction between a ‘good’ vs. ‘evil’ eye separates the moshiach from all false messiahs.

        The mussar aggaddah concerning the story of Yoav and Ahitofel, again instructs a lesson touching an ‘evil eye’.  The matter of Mefivoshet too touches the distinction between a ‘good’ and ‘evil’ eye.  So too this identical mussar applies to the conflict between the men of Yechudah and the men of Israel.  In like manner Sheva, the son of Bikhri, of Benyamin.  In like manner the revenge ‘evil eye’ of the Giv’onim, who made public display and who refused to bury the 7 men from the house of Shaul whom they judged as guilty.
        Herein concludes the Oral Torah and prophetic mussar instruction wherein the generations learn the k’vanna of the Moshiach anointing of the house of Aaron and the death of his two sons.


  5. Bonheur, ennuis, succès, déception ou échec – je ne sais pas ce qui vous attend pour la journée, mais je sais que tout ira bien c’est toujours un plaisir de venir te dire. Bonjour bonjour!
    Amitié de déposer un petit mot à tous mes amis amies Bise Bernard

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  6. Indubbiamente un’Annunciazione originale; ci ho sempre visto una Maria che pensa (dallo sguardo) a quanto ciò che l’angelo (non si vede perchè puro spirito) le sta annunciando, nel volare via il suo movimento muove la pagina del libro…maria, nel suo gesto, forse vorrebbe fermarlo per poter ancora ascoltare quello che io ho sempre creduto una voce melodiosa?

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  7. My Dear Luisa, like Most of those I know, for me a painting is a picture. All I have seen about them was Pretty, or not! Thus Your analysis of this painting is a lesson for me. Thank You for this!
    On the other hand, the thought of the Annunciation brings to my mind Many thoughts, particularly about Free Will!
    Why did Gabriel approach Our Lady for this? But wait, Did he? …Had he approached Only this particular Lady in History? Then Her ‘Fiat’ need not have been so celebrated. That it is, proves that the Invitation had been sent to more than One, that Being the Mother of Christ was Not forced upon Mary!


  8. Reblogged this on lovehappinessandpeace and commented:
    Responded to Dear Luisa. But it was long enough for me to convert it to a Reblog with those words.
    ‘My Dear Luisa, like Most of those I know, for me a painting is a picture. All I have seen about them was Pretty, or not! Thus Your analysis of this painting is a lesson for me. Thank You for this!
    On the other hand, the thought of the Annunciation brings to my mind Many thoughts, particularly about Free Will!
    Why did Gabriel approach Our Lady for this? But wait, Did he? …Had he approached Only this particular Lady in History? Then Her ‘Fiat’ need not have been so celebrated. That it is, proves that the Invitation had been sent to more than One, that Being the Mother of Christ was Not forced upon Mary!’

    Liked by 1 person

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