Francesco Pesellino, The Annunciation, c.1450-55

Francesco Pesellino, The Annunciation, c.1450-55

The Florentine painter Pesellino specialised in small-scale pictures for private devotion and contemplation. This is one of his most exquisite surviving works. The high quality materials are equal to the skill with which this familiar subject has been depicted. For instance, a superior grade of ultramarine (lapis lazuli) was used for the blue of the Virgin’s robe. Pesellino made a detailed under-drawing for this composition, but he altered some details as he worked, as is evident in the shifted outline of Gabriel’s face.