Paolo Caliari, called Paolo Veronese
Verona, 1528-Venice, 1588
The Annunciation, ca. 1585
Oil on canvas.
Of the great Venetian painters of the sixteenth century, Veronese was the most systematic and subtle in his exploration of the play of light upon color. While he based his paintings on classical models, his palette encompassed an unprecedented range of color which was enhaned by his natural use of light. A small altarpiece, probably for private devotion, this picture sets the Virgin and the archangel Gabriel in a handsome loggia, likely modeled after an actual villa. In contrast to the simplified figures and uniform palette, the energetic highlights course across the surface and infuse the scene with vitality.