The Annunciation, 1899
wood engraving on paper
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington
If you're a churchgoer, you're probably aware that today is the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is the season of expectant waiting and preparation that precedes the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, which can come as early as November 27 or as late as December 3.
As I have every year since 2003, I will celebrate the season by making a special holiday-themed post every day through January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. This year I'm featuring works of art, as I did previously in 2004 and 2007. In those years, I chose works based on a particular theme; in 2004, all the works came from the collections of Washington, D.C. area museums. in 2007, I chose one work from every state and foreign country I had ever visited. My original idea for this year was to choose works from states and countries I hadn't been too, but that plan fell apart almost immediately, so instead I'll just be choosing works from any old place. As usual, some will be sacred in nature, some secular, and some will just be sort of wintery.
Today's work is from one of my go-to museums when it comes to art posts, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which has a large online college and a good search engine. This work, as you might have guess from the title, depicts the Annunciation, which is when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to inform her that she would bear the son of God and is considered my many people to be the start of the story of the nativity. (Some people would argue that it actually starts a little earlier than that, but we'll get to that later.)
Previous Advent posts:
2003: Advent started November 30
2004: Iverskaia Mother of God
2005: Santa in an airplane
2006: Advent started December 3
2007: Advent started December 2
2008: Advent started November 30
2009: Advent started November 29