Annunciation to Last Judgement: themes and variations in Christian art – 1. Introduction and the Annunciation from the fourth to nineteenth centuries

  • Begins: Tuesday 6 July 2021
    Until: Wednesday 7 July 2021
  • Lecturer: Clare Ford-Wille

During the summer of 2021 we are offering a series of linked but separate study days on images from Christian Art. Each day can be booked individually.

The Summer Series will examine the main themes and many ways in which they were interpreted by artists and sculptors from the fourth to nineteenth centuries. We will consider the ways in which artists and their patrons interpreted the texts, not only of the Bible, but also the Revelations of St. Bridget and the fascinating commentaries in The Golden Legend.

Programme for Day 1 – Parts 1 and 2
Introduction and The Annunciation from the fourth to nineteenth centuries
The Annunciation was one of the most popular themes chosen by public and private patrons. We will explore the fascinating ways in which artists, such as Duccio, Lorenzetti, Lorenzo Lotto, Titian or the Pre-Raphaelites dealt with the theme, and study the texts which the artists and their patrons interpreted. We will consider, for example, why the Virgin’s response may vary in her reception of the Angel Gabriel’s message. Does she stand or sit?  Is she afraid or calm?  Does the event take place outside or inside?

Part 1 (6 July)
1. Introduction to the Series
2. The Annunciation in the Early Christian and Medieval Periods

Part 2  (7 July)
3. Renaissance Variations in The Annunciation
4. The Baroque and Beyond: The Annunciation from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries

Future days


Clare Ford-Wille is an independent art historian, well known to members for her courses at Birkbeck and Morley College as well as a lecturer at the National Gallery, the V&A and The Arts Society groups in Britain and Europe. She has led many tours abroad. Clare is a Vice President of The London Art History Society.

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