SACRED ART IN 100 WORDS – The Annunciation – Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898

SACRED ART IN 100 WORDS

The Annunciation
Henry Ossawa Tanner
1898
Philadelphia Museum of Art

The artist presents a unique representation of the Annunciation. In the intimacy of a chamber, a simple Jewish peasant girl encounters the Divine. The angel takes the form of light. Notice how the vertical beam intersects with the horizontal shelf to form a cross, foreshadowing the crucifixion.
The warm light enlightens Mary’s being. The Virgin wears no halo. Her hands are clasped in humility, her head tilted upwards and her eyes are focused. She is receptive to the will of God.
As fear is replaced by contemplation, and contemplation evolves into acceptance, heaven holds its breath. Mary says yes, and in this yes, are sown the seeds of our salvation.

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