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The Annunciation, c.1500

Francesco Bissolo

Italian, 1470/72-1554
Oil on panel, transferred to canvas
43-3/4 x 39-1/2 in. (111.1 x 100.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
M.2004.2.P
© 2012 Norton Simon Art Foundation

Not on view

Bissolo was a student of Giovanni Bellini. From this master Bissolo learned to describe form with color and light, a-much-celebrated technique of the Venetian School. This soft tonalism is evident in the rich colors of Mary's room, the warm light that bathes her chamber and the early morning landscape.

Bissolo has depicted the moment that the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will miraculously bear a son. By silhouetting their faces against darker forms, the artist encourages the viewer to meditate on the meaning of the mystery.

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