Arts & Culture

The Annuciation Diptych

Jan van EyckAround 1433 - 1435

Museo Thyssen - Bornemisza
Museo Thyssen - Bornemisza

This diptych is an outstanding example of grisaille painting. Here, van Eyck deliberately rejects the use of primary colours, painting the figures in white on a black background to create the illusion of a sculptural group. The painting forms part of a series of small-format works probably intended for private devotion. The inscriptions on the frames—a common device in van Eyck's panels—refer to the subject of the diptych: the first and last sentences of the dialogue between the Archangel ('Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee' [I-28]) and Mary ('Behold the handmaiden of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word' [I-38]), taken from the Gospel of St Luke. The frames were painted by the artist using trompe l'oeil effects and playing with the exquisite set of mouldings that decorate the panel.

Read more

Details

Discover more