Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Angel appears to Zacharias

The Angel appears to Zacharias
Domenico Ghirlandaio 1449 – 1494
fresco (c. 330 × 450 cm) — 1486-1490

Luke 1:13 - But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

The old priest Zacharias (Zechariah) is doing his duties in the temple when suddenly the angel Gabriel appears next to him. Gabriel tells Zacharias that he will soon become the father of a son who must be named John. The old man asks for a sign as he finds it hard to believe the angel. Gabriel then tells him he will not be able to speak until his son is born. When he leaves the temple Zacharias indeed is struck dumb.

Ghirlandaio turned the Jewish temple into a typical Renaissanced church. The many figures are representatives of the Florence government or of the Tornabuoni family. The weird position of the two front groups suggest that the government and the family wanted more people in the painting than Ghirlandaio could handle properly.

This fresco is part of the series Ghirlandaio made in the Tornabuoni family chapel in the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. All works in this series are about the life of John the Baptist.
>>>> Gabriel

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