Wondrous Event, Wondrous Art

1437 A.D.

The Annunciation, 1437-1446 Fra Angelico

The Annunciation, 1437-1446
Fra Angelico
Convent of San Marco, Florence, Italy

The Annunciation (the announcement) is that key moment in Christian history when the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces that she will give birth to a son by miraculous means.

Fra Angelico, monk and artist of the 15th century, frescoed (meaning painted on wet plaster) The Annunciation, one of the most revered masterpieces of all time.  Artists down the centuries have been mightily influenced by this classic work.

600 years later, 2017

Annunciation 2, after Fra Angelico, 2017, David Hockney

Annunciation 2, after Fra Angelico, 2017
David Hockney

David Hockney, the great 80-year-old British artist, reports that during his first year in art school he came upon Fra Angelico’s painting of The Annunciation.  He was stunned by its beauty and symmetry.  Sixty years later, he is still painting his interpretation of this masterpiece.

1907-1914 Cubism and Picasso astonishes art world

Annunciation, 1934, Roy de Maistre, Private collection, Switzerland

Annunciation, 1934
Roy de Maistre
Private collection, Switzerland

Cubism (objects and figures radically fragmented) heavily influenced Australian artist Roy de Maistre in his painting Annunciation.

1961-2030 Pop art transcends to fine art

The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal, 2012, Grayson Perry, Woven tapestry in wool, silk, cotton, acrylic and polyester, Currell Collection

The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal, 2012
Grayson Perry
Woven tapestry in wool, silk, cotton, acrylic and polyester, Currell Collection

Grayson Perry, 60, tackles subjects that are universally human: religion, identity, gender, social status, and sexuality. He tries to deal with them with humor yet with a sense of the sacred.

The Annunciation is filled with symbols! Watch this…
Click here if you are unable to view the video.

Leave a Comment



  1. Lydia December 5, 2017 at 9:50 am - Reply

    I feel like you brought the Christmas Spirit into focus, so thanks! I loved pausing long enough in the day to look carefully at all three pieces. And the video gave a big boost to my art education. Made me want to run right over to the Prado. The Perry work is a challenge to see and “get” all the aspects of his story there. But I’ll enjoy coming back to it and the other images. Merry Christmas Kirby and to all you bloggers, too! Lydia

    • Kirby Kendrick December 5, 2017 at 10:19 am - Reply

      Really looking at these paintings is so rewarding, Lydia! I am glad they have challenged you. Let’s meet at the Prado! Merry Christmas!

  2. david kremenak December 5, 2017 at 10:32 am - Reply

    It is a tribute to Fra Angelico that he could inspire even the likes of Picasso and other cubists to look again at Jesus’ annunciation. And it is a tribute to you, Kirby, to have invited us to do the same. Thank you, and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

    • Kirby Kendrick December 5, 2017 at 10:35 am - Reply

      A classic is a classic, isn’t it David?! Merry Christmas to you in Santa Fe!!

  3. Steve Treadgold December 5, 2017 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Thank you, Kirby. This is terrific!

  4. M calderoni December 5, 2017 at 10:57 am - Reply

    It would be a good assignment—- everyone has an opinion on that moment. Thanks for the art history peek.

  5. Kate Joyce December 5, 2017 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Hi Kirby….love your art Blog….thanks for sending…interesting how Hckney was influenced…..

    • Kate Joyce December 5, 2017 at 11:20 am - Reply

      Yes…Hockney never forgot his experience with Fra Angelico’s “Annunciation.” David Hockney has a major retrospective exhibition going on now at the Met in NYC. Thanks for writing, Kate!

  6. Margo Palmer December 5, 2017 at 11:59 am - Reply

    How wonderful to see how beautifully preserved the fresco in the convent is! Or maybe it’s restored? But it is a beauty!

    • Kirby Kendrick December 5, 2017 at 5:47 pm - Reply

      Yes, Margo, it is remarkable that it is in such good condition. It is outside too!….but in a corridor with an deep overhang. Thank you, for following my blog. I always enjoy your comments! Merry Christmas!

  7. Susan Lehman December 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Kirby. I learned so much from this posting and it is a great holiday gift to the community.

    • Kirby Kendrick December 5, 2017 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      Thank you Susan for reading my art blog and your encouragement. Our community is a wonderful gift, is it not?
      Happy Holidays,

  8. Linda Applewhite December 5, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply


    I love the blog, so appropriate for this Season and so informative about The Annunciation.

    It’s wonderful to see all the wildly different interpretaions from different artists of this “wonderous event”!

    Thanks for the images and video, and for educating us about how this event has surfaced again and again throughout the centuries through art.

    Your love of art and spirit shines through!

    Love and Blessings,

    • Linda Applewhite December 5, 2017 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Linda,
      “Wild” is a good way to describe this wondrous art! It makes me very happy to share the love of art!
      Merry Christmas!

  9. Tina Kraft December 6, 2017 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Thank you Kirby for sharing with us the truly amazing world of painting. I am blessed to have met you all those Graham Nickson Painting Marathons ago! You continue to inspire me!

    All the best to you always!

    • Kirby Kendrick December 6, 2017 at 2:02 pm - Reply

      I am very grateful to share this amazing world of painting with you also, Tina! Thank you for following my art blog.

  10. Kathryn Golden December 6, 2017 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Love this! A good reminder of the meaning of the season! XoxoxoxxoxooxxK

  11. Alexandra Eldridge December 6, 2017 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    I just love your blogs. Thanks so much for starting up again.

  12. Lou Burgess December 6, 2017 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Thank you
    Always professional, interesting and educational.
    Every Good Wish for a Merry Christmas Season!
    Lou Burgess SMU ’64

    • Kirby Kendrick December 6, 2017 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      Hey Lou, It is always a pleasure for me when you read and comment on my art blog. I research a ton so to make the piece as accurate and interesting as possible. Thanks and Merry Christmas to you!

  13. Sissy Alsabrook December 6, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    As always, your postings are just so interesting and timely. Thank you and Feliz Navidad!

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