Ecce Ancilla Domini Dante Gabriel Rossetti Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Ecce Ancilla Domini is a Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting whose title translates to "Behold the handmaiden of the lord" from Latin. Ecce Ancilla Domini is an 1850 painting that was inspired by two artists namely like Fra Angelico (1387-1455) and Botticelli (1445-1510).

The painting offers a radical interpretation of the events that took place during the announcement to the Virgin Mary. In addition, the painting was purchased in 1886 by the Tate collection and is still under their custody. Also, the painting is of oil and canvas in nature. Furthermore, the paint exhibits a portrait style and stands upwards. The figures in the painting are in white, thus representing the purity of both Angel Gabriel and Mary, the mother of Christ. From the painting, we can see that the alleged angel presents Mary with a lily flower; the significance of the flower is unknown.

Also, the painting has a white dove which is interpreted as a representation of the holy spirit. Also, the Virgin Mary sits awkwardly on bed thus suggesting that she must have been asleep. As a result, the audience can conclude that annunciation took place in the middle of the night. In addition, her posture suggests that she had been amazed by the annunciation made by the angel.

The painting is religious since it's mostly based on the catholic concept of the Annunciation. The Annunciation also termed as the Annunciation of the lord is a celebration amongst the Catholics. Here Catholics celebrate the announcement made by Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary concerning the birth of Jesus Christ. Lastly, though the painting is biblically inspired the artist used his siblings as models. For the virgin Mary, he used his sister Christina whereas his brother William Michael served as the angel.

Lastly, various versions of the painting have been made by different artists. Each version has a different title namely “DGR con 107k illustrazioni,” “An Illustrated Memorial” and “Dante Gabriel Rossetti.” The paintings were done by artists Angeli, Marillier and Stephens respectively. Lastly the duplicates of the painting are different from the original since they are done in black and white shadings.