Pregnant Annunciation

Pregnant Annunciation Pulse para ampliar Pregnant Annunciation (c.1325)
  • CE00090 and CE00091
  • c. 1325
  • Wood: Carved - Gilded - Painted

Sculptural work composed of two statues forming a specific artistic and religious iconography: the Pregnant Annunciation. This iconographical theme was created in the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, and is a version of the Annunciation combined with the Incarnation of Christ. In the scrolls there are inscriptions, a salutation between the archangel and the Virgin common in the Annunciations: AVE MARIA GRATIA PLENA (Hail Mary, full of grace) and ECCE ANCILLA DOMINI (Behold the handmaiden of the Lord). And, alongside these Annunciations elements, we see the depiction of Mary clearly pregnant, state highlighted by her hand on her belly. According to Ibanez Palomo, this theme is specific to the Iberian Peninsula, and was very widespread in the northern half of Castille and Portugal from the second half of the 13th century, and specially during the 14th century.

The creation of this theme has been linked with the Expectatio Partus celebration, which in the Hispanic liturgical calendar, and after the 10th Council of Toledo (656), was celebratedd the 18th of December, together with the Annunciation. Thus, the Hispanic church avoided the celebration of the Annunciation in the middle of Lent (the 15th of March). But there is a void of centuries between the 10th Council of Toledo and the firsts representations of the Pregnant Annunciations in the 13th century.

After the Council of Trent, the representations of Mary so clearly pregnant were considered too carnal and not adequate, and this iconography dissapears. We must point out that this is one of the few examples of the iconography depicted in wood. Most of the Pregnant Annunciations preserved were done in stone.


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