Paolo Veneziano, The Annunciation

Circa 1348-1350
Tempera and gold leaf on panel
The Getty Center

To the right of the angel are the words he spoke to Mary: AVE GRATIA PLENA, DOMINUS TECUM, "Hail full of grace, the lord is with you." The white bird at 9 o'clock on Mary's halo is the dove representing the Holy Spirit. Her rounded belly and the book she presses to it express her now being pregnant with Jesus Christ, "the Word made flesh."

More of the Annunciation

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