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The Archangel Gabriel from an Annunciation Group

The Archangel Gabriel from an Annunciation Group

c. 1350

Alabaster with traces of paint and gilding

Overall: 56.5 x 26 x 10.5 cm (22 1/4 x 10 1/4 x 4 1/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1954.387

Description

Orginally part of an altar arrangement, this statuette was separated during the late 19th century from its accompanying figure of the Virgin (now in the Louvre in Paris). The refined treatment and courtly elegance of the figures suggests they were made in a workshop close to the French capital, probably for the Benedictine Abbey of Moutier-la-Celle or the Abbey of Notre-Dame-du-Pré, whose church was specifically dedicated to the Annunciation. The angel holds a banderole with the words AVE MARIA GRATIA PLENA (Hail Mary full of Grace), the words with which Gabriel greeted Mary.

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