The Lehman "Annunciation," one of Memling's most important works, reportedly retained its original frame, inscribed with the date 1482, well into the nineteenth century. It has been suggested, however, that the final number of the inscription had become illegible and that the year recorded was actually 1489, a date more consonant with the painting's style.
Acquired by Philip Lehman through Duveen Brothers in October 1920.
Берлин ( - 1920)
prince Michael Radziwill (d. 1831)
his son, prince Anton Radziwill (d. 1833), Berlin, Germany, by 1832
his son, prince Wilhelm Radziwill (d. 1870)
by descent to prince George Radziwill (d. 1904)
his widow, Marie Branicka, princess Radziwill ( - 1920)
Нью-Йорк (1920 )
Robert Lehman collection (1920 - 75)
Метрополитен (1975 )
This Annunciation takes place in a comfortably appointed bedchamber, though many of the domestic furnishings have symbolic connotations.
The carafe of water, through which light passes uncorrupted, and the vase of lilies are symbols of the Virgin's purity, while the empty candleholder signifies her imminent role as bearer of Christ, light of the world.
Gabriel's priestly garb alludes to the ritual of the Mass and, therefore, the incarnation of Christ.
A soft glowing light falls on the Virgin and suffuses the room, elevating the scene from the realm of the ordinary and signaling the sacred nature of the drama.