Gothic limestone carving of The Annunciation

Circa 1450
Brussels

W 71 × H 17 × D 4.5

Stock # Marh352

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The Annunciation, carved in limestone, with the Virgin Mary being visited by the archangel Gabriel with news that she is with God's child. Archangel Gabriel on the left holding a staff with lily and God shining on in the form of a dove above a vase of lilies with the initial A on the vase and the Virgin Mary kneeling reading. The lilies are symbols of the spring renewal and the Virgin's purity and the letter 'A' on the vase possibly reads "Ave Maria gratia plena (Hail Mary, full of grace). In Mary's right hand is the Old Testament, presumably open at Isaiah's prophecy (Isa. 7:14) " behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son". Traces of original polychrome and gilt. Museum quality and exceptionally finely carved by a master Netherlandish carver. The lintel is from a town house in Brussels and is a major Gothic work of art. Note: The last picture in the collection here is of an Annunciation stone believed to date back to 1128 (but possibly 15th century) and is in the crypt at Dunfermline Abbey, Scotland.