OverviewThese two graceful figures, rare life-sized painted wood sculptures surviving from the late Middle Ages, enact the Annunciation as described in the gospel of Saint Luke. Mary responds with restrained amazement to the angel's news that she will become the mother of Christ. Carved completely in the round, with traces of early painting still visible, the statues might have flanked the entrance to the high-altar area of a church. They are early copies from a popular pair of 14th-century marble statues in the church of Santa Caterina in Pisa, Italy. Carbon dating has indicated that each was carved from a tree that was felled at least 600 years ago.
Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi [1878-1955]. Acquired 1950 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1961 to NGA.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1951-56. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida and Fern Rusk Shapley. National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1956: 254, 256, no. 106, repro. 257, as by Nino Pisano.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 391, repro., as by Nino Pisano.
- Walker, John, Guy Emerson, and Charles Seymour. Art Treasures for America: An Anthology of Paintings & Sculpture in the Samuel H. Kress Collection. London, 1961: 6-8, color repro. 9, 10, as by Nino Pisano.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 163, as by Nino Pisano.
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 144, repro., as by Nino Pisano.
- Middeldorf, Ulrich. Sculptures from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools XIV-XIX Century. London, 1976: 8.
- National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 280, repro.
- Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994: 174, repro.
- National Gallery of Art. Highlights from the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Washington, 2016: 38, repro.