In this pre-Raphelite painting, an angel is announcing to Mary that she will give birth to the Christ child. The predominant whiteness and lily represent Mary's purity.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Ecce Ancilla Domini! ('The Annunciation')
72.4 x 41.9 cm
Oil on canvas
Date of work
Original: Oil on canvas 72.4 x 41.9 cm ® Tate, London
English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti left the RA Schools in 1848 and in the same year founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood along with Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. In 1850 he painted his first subject from the works of Dante, who remained a lifelong inspiration. From 1854 he prospered under the patronage of John Ruskin. After the suicide of his wife and pupil Elizabeth Siddal, he lived in great style, with a menagerie of animals. From 1868 to the mid-1870s he conducted an affair with Jane, the wife of William Morris. She remained his principal muse until his death and he immortalized her in such works as Proserpine.