World's Best paintings of Gabriel's Annunciation to Mary

  P.1346 - §4 One evening about sundown, before Joseph had returned home, Gabriel appeared to Mary by the side of a low stone table and, after she had recovered her composure, said: "I come at the bidding of one who is my Master and whom you shall love and nurture. To you, Mary, I bring glad tidings when I announce that the conception within you is ordained by heaven, and that in due time you will become the mother of a son; you shall call him Joshua, and he shall inaugurate the kingdom of heaven on earth and among men. Speak not of this matter save to Joseph and to Elizabeth, your kinswoman, to whom I have also appeared, and who shall presently also bear a son, whose name shall be John, and who will prepare the way for the message of deliverance which your son shall proclaim to men with great power and deep conviction. And doubt not my word, Mary, for this home has been chosen as the mortal habitat of the child of destiny. My benediction rests upon you, the power of the Most Highs will strengthen you, and the Lord of all the earth shall overshadow you."
   Louvre Museum


Gabriel's wings seem to be uncomfortably folded. It is unlikely for Gabriel to have bowed before Mary.

Mary is too shy to look at Gabriel. Gabriel's wings are greenish inside but red outside. An interesting notion.


Mary looks at the interior of the house, rather than Gabriel.


Gabriel is not likely to have knelt before Mary.


Maria appears to be too talkative.


Gabriel alone appeared before Mary, without being accompanied by angels.


Alte Pinakothek, Munich


Gabriel greets Mary "Ave Maria ..." in Latin, which language Mary did not understand. Gabriel probably spoke in Aramaic.


Mary is likely to have seen Gabriel, and would not have turned her back to Gabriel.


The entire Nazareth had only one copy of the Septuagint, and Jesus had a second copy from Alexandria. Codex (a book of bound pages) was invented around the time of Jesus, but had not been widely used until the 4th century. Joseph would not have had a copy of the Scriptures.

Luke 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." 34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God." 38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

Nowhere in the New Testament Gabriel kneels before Mary.

Joseph was a poor carpenter and hardly could afford a copy of the Scriptures. Besides, the codex had not been widely available.


Gabriel greets Mary in Latin.


Gabriel would not have knelt before Mary and he looks too feminine.

  Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna


Gabriel's posture is awkward, and Mary is reading a book or codex that was not widely available during the time of Jesus.


Gabriel seems to be hovering. Most likely, Gabriel would have stood in front of Mary, to converse with her.


Mary's posture is unlikely.


Gabriel is still in the street and outside Mary's house.


 Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice


Mary is reading a book.


The concept is generally good, but Gabriel's attire is not tidy.


Mary seems to be living in a palace, rather than a country house in Nazareth.

   Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Gabriel is hovering.


Gabriel looks too serious.


Mary's posture is not tidy.


Gabriel is still in the street. He would have entered the house.

   National Gallery in Prague (Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia)


Mary has three books, not likely.


Mary is sitting in her throne.


Mary's visit to Elizabeth?


Minneapolis Institute of Arts

A good composition. Gabriel has strong wings. Mary was probably in the kitchen.

An interesting concept! Gabriel appeared before Mary after the conception. Gabriel is not tidy.

Mary's reaction is credible, but Gabriel looks sloppy.

  Gemäldegalierie, Berlin

Mary lives in a palace.


Gabriel has no wings (good) but he seems to be negotiating with reluctant Mary.


A good composition, except the central column which serves no purpose.

  Chicago Institute of Art


At least Gabriel should be looking at Mary to talk to her.


Gabriel resembles Mary.

   Legion of Honor, San Francisco


Gabriel is not standing upright. The bed looks too fancy and unnecessary.


Mary seems to be in a synagogue or church, rather than in her house.

  Princeton University Art Museum

Musée d'Orsay

A beautiful painting, but Gabriel kneels before Mary (he wouldn't).


Philadelphia Museum of Art

  Vatican Pinacoteca


Mary appears to be disinterested.

   National Gallery, Washington, DC

Gabriel looks like a woman, and Mary is not in a country house in Nazareth.

   Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
   Old Masters Gallery (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister), Dresden
   The Uffizi Gallery, Florence

by Leonardo da Vinci. (Uffizi now allows no photography)

A nice painting, but both Gabriel and Mary are outside the building, rather than inside a country house. It is unlikely for Gabriel to have appeared before Mary in public. 

   Best paintings of "Annunciation"

Musée d'Orsay

A beautiful painting, but Gabriel kneels before Mary (he wouldn't).


Minneapolis Institute of Arts

A good composition. Gabriel has strong wings. Mary was probably in the kitchen.