Skip to Main Content

The Annunciation, Van Eyck (ASL)

The tall narrow format of this painting suggests that this would have been the left wing of a triptych. Van Eyck emphasizes the meaning of the annunciation, the moment when Mary learns of the impending birth of Christ from the angel Gabriel, by including symbolic references to the Old Testament even as this story marks the start of the New Testament. For example, the floor tiles illustrate the stories of David and Goliath as well as Samson destroying the Philistine temple. Both foreshadow events of Christ’s life and the salvation of humankind.