Annunciation by Lodovico Mazzanti

Oil painting on canvas
Late 17th century
Lodovico Mazzanti
cm. 97 x 73

The work “Annunciation” was originally in the Suffragio Church before it was given to the Museum del Colle.


The composition of the painting of the apparition of the Virgin to S. Lucia in the Cathedral of Viterbo includes an impeccable design, the incisive character of the figure illuminated by a luminous color and bright light, showing it to be by the painter born in Rome of Orvieto background, just as the Annunciation which came from the Gonfalone church.
Eventhough darkened by smoke it can be compared to the small canvas showing the death of St. Joseph in the Orte cathedral which has the same type of angelic faces reminiscent of those in the Adoration of the Shepherds of Baciccio (1639-1709) also in the Museum del Colle del Duomo.

The artist’s two Viterbo canvases, shown here, can be added to those already known to be in Rome: the Madonna at the tomb in the church of Saints Faustino and Giovita, the Vision of St. Ignatius at La Storta (Rome), once in the Viterbo church of Sant’Ignazio as noted by Viterbese art historian Scriattoli, the Crucifix of Sant’Ignazio, a Virgin Addolorato in private collection and the Pala of St. Lucia in the Viterbo Cathedral. The Virgin appearing to St. Teresa, once in the Carmelitani Scalzi church, has been lost.


The Annunciation follows the direction promoted by the Council of Trent (1545-1563) which in the 25th session of works (Dec. 13, 1563) emanated a decree on sacred images reinforcing the thesis of the church on some of the truths contested by the Protestants: the Annunciation by the angel of the Immaculate Conception, the virginity of the Madonna and her role in Redemption, making these theological rules and the center of devotion. In line with the devotional literature of the Baroque period, the domestic interior is substituted by a scene of angelic glory, a triumphal interpretation of the event in which heaven and earth are fused.

G. Tiziani, Immagini della Vergine. Dipinti dal territorio della Diocesi di Viterbo, Edizioni Archeoares, Viterbo 2014

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