Advent Art (8) – An Overwhelming Annunciation


Perhaps this is the most beautiful angel ever painted?

The painting is by Fra Angelico, and looking at the details, we notice a number of things.

I see God’s assertive choice – notice the pointing finger and the words coming from the angel’s mouth. This is a God who chooses, who calls, who communicates.

I also see the beautiful golden light of the angel putting all dark tragedies of the past into the background – did you even notice Adam and Eve back left, a reminder of the tragedy of Eden?

And I see what an overwhelming experience it is for Mary, to be the mother of Jesus. She sees a beautiful angel – overwhelming in itself! She will see the birth of Christ. She will also see his death.

Christians can talk about “The Annunciation” as if they know what it means. This painting makes me re-think The Annunciation as an overwhelming spiritual experience.

And have we ever had our own “Annunciation” moments, where it has felt as if God has chosen, as if God has put dark tragedies behind us, as if God is presenting us with an overwhelming experience?


One thought on “Advent Art (8) – An Overwhelming Annunciation

  1. Tremendous meditation, Michael. You have captured the spirit not only of this painting, but of the event itself in all its power. And thank you for pointing out Adam and Eve in the background, I would have never noticed them. Excellent post.


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