About this artwork
The archangel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she will give birth to a son, and her immediate acceptance of this news, represent the moment of Christ’s Incarnation. Although The Annunciation appears to be an independent painting, it is actually a fragment that once formed the right side of an altarpiece; the left side, now in the National Gallery, London, depicts the moment of Mary’s own Immaculate Conception, believed to have occurred when her parents, Joachim and Anne, greeted each other at the Golden Gate. A central section, now lost, probably featured the enthroned Virgin and Child, perhaps with Saint Anne. Jean Hey, known as the Master of Moulins,was the leading painter working in France in the last decades of the fifteenth century. He worked in Moulins in central France for Duke Pierre II of Bourbon and his wife, Anne of France, who played a large role in the government of of the kingdom during the minority of Anne’s brother Charles VIII. As their court painter, Hey, who was probably of Netherlandish origin, fused the intense naturalism and preciousness of Flemish and French painting and manuscript illumination with the emerging Renais-sance interest in antiquity, as is evident in this painting’s Italianate architecture.
- Jean Hey, (the Master of Moulins)
- The Annunciation
- Oil on panel
- 72.5 × 50.1 cm (28 1/2 × 19 11/16 in.); painted surface: 71.7 × 49.2 cm (28 1/4 × 19 3/8 in.)
- The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection