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The Virgin of the Annunciation

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.




Martin Schongauer
German, c. 1430/50-1491

About this artwork

Martin Schongauer conceived the Angel and the Virgin of the Annunciation as two separate engravings, forming a type of diptych. The angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary often appeared against a dark ground on the outer wings of altarpieces, painted in a monochromic style called grisaille, which emphasizes the figures’ sculptural relief. Schongauer’s pared-down background replaces the view of Mary’s bedroom usually found in Annunciation scenes. Instead, Mary receives the news of her divine motherhood from the angel with only a book in her hand; the potted lily represents her absolute purity. Schongauer’s treatment of the flowing drapery further underscores the figures’ monumentality.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Martin Schongauer


The Virgin of the Annunciation


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1470–1475


Engraving in black on ivory laid paper


Sheet, trimmed to platemark: 17 × 11.7 cm (6 3/4 × 4 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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