The Annunciation by Fra Angelico
After months of restoration by Almudena Sánchez, the Museo del Prado presents The Annunciation by Fra Angelico, one of the greatest treasures of the museum’s collection. A masterpiece that recovers its rich and dazzling colours, the supernatural light that invades the composition and the original architectural space, after a complex restoration.
It will belong to the exhibition “Fra Angelico and the origin of the Florentine Renaissance”, which will open in the Prado at the end of the month and is one of the highlights of the museum’s bicentenary.
Restored for the last time in 1943, it is a work painted by the master of the Quattrocento, around 1425 with egg tempera on poplar board (hence its extreme fragility), and with measures of 190,3 x 191,5 cm, was a commission for the convent of Santo Domingo in Fiesole, on the outskirts of Florence. It is the first of the versions of the Annunciation that he painted: there are others in the Diocesan Museum of Cortona and in the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie in San Giovanni Valdarno (both in Tuscany).
It was sold by the Dominicans of Fiesole in 1611 to pay for the construction of a new bell tower. Mario Farnesio acquires it for the Duke of Lerma, who was able to give it to his sister. On an unknown date it passed to the Descalzas Reales in Madrid, and from there to the Museo del Prado in 1861. It has a predella of five panels that narrate episodes of the life of the Virgin. So far, the predella has not been restored.