Pietro di Miniato (1366-1430)
The Annunciation

Church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence

The chamber pictured here is a symbol of the Virgin herself. On the one hand, it expresses Mary's kinship with the middle-class viewer by the modest size, the runner on the tiled floor, the curtained bedroom. But at the same time it looks forward to her exalted status as Mother of God, cradling her womb as she sits while the angel kneels reverently at her almost closed door, a posture that seems intended to model the attitude of the viewer.1

As usual, the Holy Spirit is pictured as a dove flying toward Mary's head, but the "power of the most high" (Luke 1:35) is surprisingly pictured by the Son rather than the Father.

On the left of the small images below is a traditionally rendered Baptism of Christ. On the right is an image of the vision of Bridget of Sweden, with St. Joseph and Bridget herself joining the Virgin Mary in the adoration of the Christ Child. In the Adoration of the Magi in the middle, the magi represent the three ages of man. The eldest of them kneels to kiss the child's toe, a detail that one does see from time to time. Above them is the star that led the magi to the child.

The date range cited above for the fresco comes from some web sites of unknown reliability. The artist's death date may be as late as 1446.

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Read more about images of the Annunciation.
Read more about images of the Baptism of Jesus.
Read more about images of the Adoration of the Magi.
Read more about images of the Nativity.

Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

1 See van Dijk's essay on this kind of modeling in medieval Annunciations.