The Annunciation

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) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
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.


Count Manfrin collection, Venice, in 1855, still in 1877.
Robert H. (1850-1929) and Evelyn Holford Benson, London; by 1894; sold 1 June 1927 to
[Duveen Bros., New York; stock no. 29351; 1938, stock no. 29838]
The Norton Simon Foundation (F.1965.1.5.P); sold 2004 to
Norton Simon Art Foundation

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