Unknown Tuscan artist
Annunciation , Gabriel , Mary , Virgin , Annunciate , Angel
These painted stone sculptures of the Arcangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary form an Annunciation. Raised up on corbels on either side of the opening to the main chapel in the Chiesa di Villa in Castiglione Olona, these sculptures create a sort of dramatic tableau, in which the space of the church is the stage. The sculptures, like the Brunelleschian architecture in which they are set, are Tuscan in style and type. Cardinal Branda Castiglione brought Tuscan painters, sculptors and architects to this town in Lombardy to decorate local chapels and his palace in the early fifteenth-century. These sculptures have been attributed to the Tuscan artist Vecchietta, working in Castiglione in these years, or to another Tuscan artist, possibly a follower of Francesco di Valdambrino, as the types of the figures and dress in which they are clothed are similar to the Sienese sculptor's Annunciation pairs (though those are made of wood, not stone). The angel presumably originally had a pair of wings, perhaps made of wood or something more ephemeral, such as cloth or even feathers attached to a frame. Likewise the Virgin is shown only clothed in her under-dress and so was likely veiled and given a long cloak made of actual fabric. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.