Attributable to a Bavarian artist, this panel of the Annunciation demonstrates the interrelationships between illuminators and panel painters. Following Netherlandish examples, the scene is set in a domestic interior depicted with sparkling luminosity, which bathes the scene in supernatural as well as natural light. Above the door through which the angel Gabriel enters, a Hebrew scroll reads “before” or “not yet” (b’terem), which refers here to the pending birth of Christ as the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Gabriel notifies Mary of the Incarnation using a charter with three seals (a reference to the Trinity), a motif found most often in Bohemian painting.

Germany, Bavaria (?), ca. 1450
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Gift of Julie and Lawrence Salander, in honor of Keith Christiansen, 2005.103