Monday, October 27, 2014
Pondering the Angelus with Art: the Unexpected Encounter
In this striking detail of the Annunciation by Francesco Mochi, we find Mary startled by the arrival of the angel in her private quarters. She is still in the process of rising from her chair, clasping the Bible closely (how much closer the Word will be just moments from now!) as she turns to the unexpected messenger.
The full scene consists of two statues, carefully positioned to capture the light of their original location in the Cathedral of Orvieto. The statue of Gabriel, almost fierce in its intensity—and in its height of six feet—was completed in 1605 and has been called "the first Baroque statue." The corresponding statue of Mary (almost a foot taller than Gabriel!) was not even commissioned for another three years.
For more detail (in Italian; avail yourself of a translation service!) and for a picture of both statues in their relative positions, see this article by Stefano Torselli.
Photo by Sr Sergia Ballini, FSP.