- Reference number
- El Greco
- The Annunciation
- 315 cm x 174 cm
- On display
- College of La Encarnación, also known as the College of Doña María de Aragón, Madrid, 1813; church of San Felipe el Real and House of the Inquisition, 1835; Royal Academy of San Fernando; Trinidad Museum
A passage from the New Testament (Luke I, 26-38) that tells of the annunciation of the Virgin's motherhood by the Archangel Gabriel and the incarnation of Christ in Mary by the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove.
The burning bush, which appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai and burned without being consumed by the fire, symbolizes the virginity and purity of Mary. On the left, on a book stand, is the book the Virgin was reading with Gabriel appeared, along with the sewing basket, an allusion to the veil of the Temple that Mary was sewing at that time, according to the Armenian Gospel of Childhood. The angelical musicians appear like happy witness to the scene.
Along with other paintings in the Prado Museum (P00821, P00823, P00825, P00828), this work was the central panel of the main altarpiece at the Church of the College of María de Aragón.
The same painter made two reductions of this canvas, which might also be sketches for it. One is in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid and the other at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao.