This work belongs to an Annunciation group: the Archangel Gabriel (location unknown) is announcing to the Virgin Mary that she is to be the mother of the Saviour. Mary is represented in an attitude of humble and composed acceptance. The scene was intended to decorate the interior of a Tuscan church.

The Annunciation is a privileged theme of sculpture in the Gothic era and early Renaissance. While statues, in stone, generally appeared at the porches of churches in France, in Italian churches they were placed inside the building. Executed in wood and adorned with rich polychromy, Sienese sculptures of the 14th and 15th centuries were particularly refined.

The Petit Palais’s Virgin, whose polychromy has been damaged over time, presents, with her composed gestures, a grave and reserved attitude. This feeling of modesty or gentle melancholy, together with her simple drapery and elegant slenderness, places her among the finest Virgins of the Annunciation still in existence.

F. B. and A. S.

City of Paris municipal collection's website

City of Paris municipal collection's website

The collections portal can be used to search the collections of Paris’s 14 municipal museums (approximately 336,000 works, including 43,000 belonging to the Petit Palais).

It is also possible to download around 12,000 images of the museum’s works free of charge.

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Autre base documentaire

Extern databases

Discover a selection of databases online presenting works from the Petit Palais or documents concerning the history of the museum.