The Annunciation


13th century
Left and right of the apse in the Church of St. Isei, Draguć, Croatia

This is most likely the preliminary announcement narrated in Pseudo-Matthew. Mary stands outside a building, presumably the Temple, and there appears to be no arriving dove. But there are also new features that start coming into use at this time. The vase in the bottom left has flowers in it, and Mary holds her hand to her breast, as will be the rule in the 14th century and beyond.

As for the name of the church's patron, on the façade he is Isei. This seems at first glance to be a variant of Croatian Izaije, "Isaiah." But other sources say the patron is the prophet called "Elisha" in the King James Bible, Eliseus in the Latin Vulgate, and Elizej" in Croatian. So it may be that Isei is simply Elizej with the El left off.

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Read more about images of the Annunciation.

Date of fresco provided by Forterre. Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.