Angel Annunciate (Ghent Altarpiece) Jan van Eyck 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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The beautiful angel holds a friendly pose as she displays a bunch of flowers to an adjoining panel of this extensive altarpiece.

In direct connection to the Virgin Annunciation, this matching panel features an elegant spread of wings in the left hand side of this room, again with the artist adding a small window to allow light into the scene. The interior is the same as featured in the sister version, with the same titled floor and wooden beams. Potentially, the two may have been on a single wooden panel previously, and then cropped out in order to fit the format of this altarpiece.

The similarity between these two panels, which was entirely as intended, means that perhaps the same artist completed both. Van Eyck made use of a studio of assistants for parts of this altarpiece but these two are so consistent with each other that perhaps the master did most of it himself to ensure a closer match. He would have trained his assistants to use an artistic style that complimented his own but there would always be some variation between one artist and another.

The two sit on the reverse of the altarpiece, which is the side sometimes forgotten as the major elements of the overall piece are certainly on the other side. Displays of the altarpiece will also tend to concentrate on those over what we see here, despite its own clear artistic qualities.