The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary; and she conceived by the Holy Spirit.” So begins the Angelus, the prayer that celebrates the Annunciation. To the eyes of faith, the coming of Christ was the high point of human history, and so the Church prays the Angelus each day at noon, the high point of the day. Federico Barocci portrays this revolutionary turning point as a serene and graceful moment: The angel Gabriel, who has just alighted, tilts his head toward Mary with a smile of greeting. She in turn raises her hand in mild surprise and calmly sets aside her prayerbook; the angel’s “Be not afraid” seems hardly necessary.
A departure, then, from the conventional, but hardly . . .
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Mary Elizabeth Podles is the retired curator of Renaissance and Baroque art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. She and her husband Leon, a Touchstone senior editor, have six children and live in Baltimore, Maryland.
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
more on art from the online archives
• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives