Home >> Art in Need >> What can I help restore now? >> The Annunciation >> A red robe for the Madonna

A red robe for the Madonna


A detail of Nelli's Madonna

A revolutionary artist uses traditional symbolism. "Vasari called Nelli 'revered and virtuous' but she was also known for her good taste and entrepreneurial spirit. (Art-history rumors have it that he was interested in trading pieces of her formidable art collection, for few people know that she was also an admired art collector.) Demand for the nun-painter's devotional works intensified among local nobility as Nelli's pious reputation grew, making her convent and the all-woman bottega she spearheaded self-sufficient. Her painting is imbued with many traditional features: the Madonna is dressed in blue and red; the Divine Messenger carries a lily symbolizing her purity; she's shown inside, standing near a lectern whose Old Testament's copy is turned to the Book of Isiah, which announces that a Virgin will give birth to the Redeemer. (Note the Brunelleschi-style columns and arches of her indoor 'Florentine' scene)."

Texts: Un dono per Palazzo Vecchio, Jane Fortune. THE FLORENTINE.