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Copper engraving.

This collection of biblical engravings was issued by the Dutch publisher Nicolaes Visscher (1587 -1652) around 1650. The engravings by Pieter Hendriksz Schut (1619 -1662) are based on a famous series of illustrations by Matthaeus Merian, the Elder. Merian (1593-1650) was a Swiss designer and engraver born in Basel and trained in Zurich. He later settled in Frankfort, Germany, where he eventually inherited the publishing house of Theodore de Bry.


This scene is more dramatic than the earlier examples, which is characteristic of art in the Baroque Period. Here, Gabriel seems to be descending into the chamber, illuminating the room with light and leading the dove to Mary. The Angel carries a flower that may be a rose. The image of the rose is often used as a symbol for the Virgin Mary, who is called a "rose without thorns" because she was free of original sin. Here Mary sits on a chair by a lectern that holds an open book. Mary’s head is covered and above her head is a halo. At her feet is a basket of sewing.