'The Annunciation', after TintorettoArtist:
, Italian, 1854 - 1931
, Venetian, 1519 - 1594
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Support: 262 x 330mm (10 5/16 x 13in.)
Accession Number: CGSG00338
Tintoretto’s original work was commissioned as part of a cycle of biblical paintings by the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, a powerful religious and charitable organisation. Ruskin, who felt it was one of the most important cycles of painting in Italy commissioned copies of it from Alessandri, saying 'nothing would be more valuable to me than a complete series of it.'
Ruskin wrote that Tintoretto’s original Annunciation ‘[was] carried to the utmost limits of boldness consistent with completion.' Yet the painting is hung high on the wall so he felt compelled to tell the visitor 'The face of the Virgin is very disagreeable to the spectator from below, giving the idea of a woman about thirty, who had never been handsome…. [but] when seen near, the face is comely and youthful, and expresses only surprise, instead of the pain and fear [seen from below].'