Fra Angelico, Annunciation (1438)
Annunciation by Fra Angelico


Created around 1438, Annunciation by Fra Angelico is a fresco painting that can be found in the monastery of San Marco in Florence. It features the Archangel Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary in a loggia, sitting peacefully and solemnly accepting her fate. The space is very sparse and lacks the symbolism typically found in other paintings of this story. In particular, it does not feature white lilies, they symbol of the virgin, or Mary reading a bible, a symbol of her piousness. It is possible these elements were not necessary for its place in a monastery, where the monks would already be very familiar with this story. Fra Angelico also made a reference to linear perspective, as seen in the architectural elements, which reflect the architecture of the monastery. The life size figures seem to dwarf their surroundings and share a serious gaze, creating a somber tone for the prayer and reflection of the monks.  

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Fra Angelico, The Annunciation (c. 1438-47)," in Smarthistory, November 28, 2015, accessed April 27, 2019,

Image Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, fair use

Associated Place(s)


  • Fra Angelico

Image Date: