Virgin Annunciate 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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Jan van Eyck depicts the Virgin Annunciate in this small panel as part of the overall Ghent Altarpiece, a huge project that involved much of the artist's studio too.

The young woman sits in the centre of this panel with a small symbolic bird hovering above her head. The model used here can be seen in several other Van Dyck depictions. Her clothing is long and this causes it to fold over itself several times on the tiled floor as she stares to the heavens.

There is some lettering in the background, most likely Latin, although the way in which it is added into the scene is different from other panels where Van Eyck has used ribbons instead. Here, the words seem to just float around the background. She stands alongside an open book which is generally used to symbolise knowledge or perhaps the teachings of the Bible.

At the back of the scene you will find a small window and several angled walls with a wooden beamed ceiling. This sets the scene of perhaps a library or small office. The artist also includes a small shadow which falls from the window across to the darkened wall, ensuring every last detail of the piece is considered and planned correctly.