Monday, December 1, 2014

Pondering the Angelus with Art

In this lovely image by Tommaso del Mazza, we see something that is typical and atypical at the same time. Typically for Annunciations in this era, God the Father is depicted in a heavenly realm--here in a "mandorla" formed of Seraphim. But this is no bust of an elderly ruler; it is a virile figure that can remind the viewer of no one but Jesus, "the perfect reflection of the Father's being." That it is, in fact, the Father (and not his Word and Image) may be reinforced by the halo, in which there is no hint of the cross.

Tommaso del Mazza (Master of St. Verdiana) (Italian, active 1377 - 1392)
The Annunciation, about 1390 - 1395, Tempera and gold leaf on panel
Unframed: 128.3 x 92.1 cm (50 1/2 x 36 1/4 in.)
Framed: 158.1 x 105.4 x 11.4 cm (62 1/4 x 41 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
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