Antoniazzo Romano, Our Lady of the Annunciation Gives the Dowry to the Poor Maidens

1500
Tempera on wood
Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva

The Dominican next to the angel is Cardinal Juan de Torquemada (1388-1468), who endowed a confraternity for the benefit of poor maidens without a dowry. The cardinal is buried at Santa Maria sopra Minerva. He was the uncle of the famous Spanish inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada.

What is remarkable about the painting is the insertion of the Torquemada-maidens story into what would otherwise be a conventional Annunciation – with the Father, the Spirit, Gabriel, and the usual furniture. Even the gesture of the Virgin Mary's left hand resembles the hands-on-breast indication of humility seen in so many Annunciations.

More of the Annunciation

Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.