The Annunciation (Inv. 1890 no. 9304)
Archangel Gabriel speaks to the Virgin Mary, making a gesture of blessing with his right hand, while holding a cross-shaped sceptre in his left. Mary responds to the announcement brought by the heavenly messenger that she would conceive the Son of God and stands before a throne, the shape of which resembles an altar. Above the halo is the inscription “MP ΘY”, the Mother of God monogram. Three golden rays shine down on her from above, symbolising the Holy Spirit.
This work is characterised by a dramatic pictorial simplification, common to productions from central Russian workshops found in smaller towns, and has very similar stylistic features to other icons in the Uffizi collection, such as “The Virgin of Vladimir” (inv. 1890 no. 9320), “Saints Joachim and Anne” (inv. 1890 no. 9328), “The Archangel Michael” (inv. 1890 no. 9330), the “Nativity of Christ” (inv. 1890 no. 9305), so much so that it may be assumed they were painted by the same artist.