Annunciate Virgin

This painted wood sculpture of the Virgin Annunciate (from Santa Maria del Carmine, Pisa, and now in the Museo di San Matteo, Pisa) has been attributed to an artist that scholars call the Maestro di Montefoscoli, because of similarity to a sculpted Annunciation in the parish church in Montefoscoli.This figure was presumably originally paired with a statue of the Angel Gabriel, to form an Annunciation. The head, neck, and hair of the figure are meticulously carved and finely painted, but the body have just been roughly carved and the arms (probably with moveable joints) have been lost. This is because the figure would have originally been dressed in actual clothing, and so there was no need for anything beyond the general form underneath. 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. It is not clear whether the joints were also used to put the figure in different positions, to enact different moments of the story. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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