Francesco di Valdambrino
MetadataShow full item record
This poorly statue in the Museo di San Matteo in Pisa is missing the left arm and part of the right, and only has polychrome partially preserved on the face and neck. Bare wood, stucco, and what look like worm holes attest to the poor state of preservation. The sculpture of the Annunciate Virgin is the work of the Sienese specialist in wood Francesco di Valdambrino, as can be deduced from the close similarity to known works, especially the Virgin Annunciate in Asciano. The swaying, twisting pose gently animates the figure, suggesting that she is turning to hear the angel's announcement. This figure was presumably originally paired with a statue of the Angel Gabriel, to form an Annunciation. From the surviving right upper arm, it is clear that the shoulders at any rate were not hinged, but this figure was nevertheless likely dressed in actual clothing, as Mary wears here only her under dress, and not the cloak with which she is almost always depicted. The tight sleeves seen on the remaining upper arm and unusually tightly cinched waist would have facilitated dressing. Annunciation pairs were popular in this period, many of which were made so that clothing could be added to the Virgin Mary, presumably richly embroidered clothing, as a form of devotion. The statues must have therefore seemed like actors in a sacred play. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.