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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    late 15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    carved and painted alabaster with gesso

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr. W L Hildburgh

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This alabaster panel depicts the Annunciation. Alabaster, a fine grained form of gypsum, is a smooth marble-like stone that became popular during the late Middle Ages for the carving of religious sculpture. Softer than marble, it was much easier to carve and also considerably cheaper. England was an important European centre of alabaster production, mostly quarried in Tutbury and Chellaston near Nottingham. From about 1380s, alabasters - both single devotional images and reliefs for altarpieces - were exported in considerable numbers to the continent where they were to survive, whereas in England such images were destroyed during the Reformation.

Physical description

Alabaster panel depicting the Annunciation, with traces of the original paint still evident, including the green background and daisy pattern used in various workshops and on manuscripts of the period. The decorative gesso knobs remain intact. The Virgin Mary kneel at the bottom right with an open book in front of her. She turns to look at the archangel Gabriel carrying a scroll. God is depicted crowned and haloed with the dove issuing from his mouth. An angel stands in the top centre of the panel playing a lute.

Place of Origin

England (made)


late 15th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

carved and painted alabaster with gesso


Height: 42.9 cm, Width: 29 cm

Descriptive line

Alabaster panel depicting the Annunciation, with traces of the original paint still evident, England, late 15th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Lindley, Philip, 'Leeds Medieval painted sculpture' Burlington Magazine, December 2002, CXLIV, np. 1197, fig. 62.


Alabaster; Gesso



Subjects depicted

Dove; Gardens; Angels; Lutes; Lily of the Valley; Clouds; Scrolls (information artifacts); Halo


Christianity; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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