Girolamo da Santa Croce, The Annunciation

Oil on wood
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina

The 16th-century version of Annunciation images shows the Father as a fully-formed man rather than just a hand pointing out of the heavens. The old story from the Protevangelium that Mary was weaving the Temple curtain when Gabriel appeared has been reduced to the ambiguity of a sewing basket with some white cloths.

In the left background we see Mary and the Christ Child visited by the child John the Baptist and his mother, Elizabeth. The Christ Child stands in another basket, also with white cloths.

The portrayal of the child Jesus with the child John is a common iconographic type. (See John the Baptist.) Its use as an incidental element is reminiscent of a painting in Dubrovnik of St. Helena's vision of the Presentation in the Temple, where the child John and his parents are placed at the far left of the Presentation scene.

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