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The Annunciation

Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

The Annunciation

Artist: Francisco Rizi de Guevara (Spanish, 1614–1685)
Culture: Spanish
Date: c. 1640
Medium: Oil on canvas
50 1/4 x 56 inches (127.6 x 142.2 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of Harriet Dubose Gray and her son Thomas S. Kenan III in honor of James H. Semans & Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans
Label Text:This work is a fine example of late Baroque painting in Spain, characterized by exuberant and dynamic compositions, lightness in color, and a free, sketchy technique. Francisco Rizi was the first artist in Madrid to embrace this new lighter style, breaking away from the official court taste represented by Diego Velázquez and Rizi's own teacher Vicente Carducho. In 1656, Rizi was named painter to King Philip IV and served as the official painter of the Cathedral of Toledo as well as director of stage design for the theatrical productions at court.

This painting is an early work by the artist, and conservation has revealed that he experimented with compositional elements, adjusting the original placement of the angel's profile and the hands of both figures. At the time, this painting would have been seen as a daring work; it departs from the solid outlines and subdued tones of the day, and is instead infused with light.

Provenance: Harriet DuBose Gray [1915-1997] by 1940s; gift 1977 with son, Thomas S. Kennan, III, to Duke University Museum of Art, now Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Object number: 1977.58.1