The Annunciation. Archangel Gabriel and Virgin Mary

“In the sixth month Archangel was sent to the Pure Virgin, told Her to rejoice and predicted that the Saviour would come from Her. Having accepted blessing, She conceived the Eternal God who had the ineffable kindness to come into a human body in order to save our souls.”




Rigden: Initially in Kievan Rus Archangel Gabriel and Virgin Mary were honoured together, as it should be. Only much later, in the 15th century, people singled out the reverence of Archangel Gabriel from the cult of the Annunciation of Our Most Holy Lady, although this is incorrect. Where the Virgin creates in a holy way, there is always the Holy Spirit with Her. By the way, in Slavic beliefs (before Christianity was adopted) the supreme male and female deities were revered together; using our language, in the meaning of a spiritual symbol of the divine Lotus (the plan) and the creating Allat (implementation of the plan)…” (the AllatRa book, page 512 –

Rigden: Regarding Archangel Gabriel and Virgin Mary, on the altar pillars of the main eastern arch of St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Kiev, where the Virgin Orans (Oranta) is depicted, mosaic images of the Annunciation remain until today.

Anastasia: Yes, on one of the pillars there is an image of Archangel Gabriel, the fingers of whose right hand are joined in a blessing gesture. On the other pillar there is the Mother of God with a spindle in her hand, spinning the spiritual thread of human life.

Rigden: I would like to mention that in the Old Slavonic language the word “веретено” (spindle) is linked to the word “вертеть” (to spin) (a vortex, spiral movement). By the way, the Slavs were not the only ones to have such word. The ancient Indian word “vartanam” also means “spinning”. Since ancient times, in the spiritual aspect a spindle has been considered to be a magic tool given from above. That is, speaking in modern terms, it is a symbolic description of a prayer, meditation or spiritual practice. Spinning out of threads by means of a spindle was a certain spiritual symbol known to many peoples as the union of the “Earth and Heaven”, the union of man during his fleeting life with the spiritual divine nature (the Soul). In religious art a thread symbolised human spiritual life, and in the global meaning it was a symbol of time, a connection between the past, the present, and the future. It was a spiritual component which united all things like a thread connecting all pearls (souls). Many ancient peoples depicted the “Great Mother” with a spindle in her hands.” (the AllatRa book, pages 512-515 –


“… in the Christian religion it is the generative divine power of the feminine principle that plays a major role of the real Guide from the human world to the spiritual world. It runs through main female images of Christianity – of Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene… People separate the images, but their essence is the same – the divine Love, God’s Mother, that which through Love revives communication with God in a human being, restores former connection with Him through the Soul. It is the spiritual, good power of Love and Creation of the Mother of God that is the main guiding and performing power from God! In the Annunciation scenes Virgin Mary is often portrayed with a lotus, or rather with a lily in her hand, as a symbol of spiritual purity.” (the AllatRa book, pages 534-535 –




The figures of Archangel Gabriel and Virgin Mary on the Annunciation frescoes on the pillars of St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Kiev (11th century)

Архангел Гавриил, Джабраил, благовещение Дева Мария, Богородица, благовещение

There are numerous icons and paintings depicting the Annunciation scenes. They were created in diverse styles by artists of various centuries and different countries, including modern artists. At that, all of such works of art express a reverent and deeply heartfelt attitude to the depicted event, and surely to Virgin Mary and Archangel Gabriel.

I would like to acquaint you with some of the aforesaid works:

Принято считать, что одно из древнейших изображений Благовещения встречается в катакомбах Присциллы (III век). В этой сцене, где перед сидящей женщиной в тунике стоит юноша в римском одеянии, исследователи видят именно сцену Благовещения.

In the Annunciation mosaic, which is a part of the Christological series of images on the dome of the Assumption Church in Daphni, Greece (late 11th century), there are only figures of the Mother of God and Archangel Gabriel.

Icon by the famous icon painter Andrei Rublev

Archangel Gabriel and Virgin Mary

Triptych by Abbot Jan Crabbe (1467-1470) (closed). The Annunciation (National Museum, Bruges)

Tiziano Vecellio. The Annunciation


Mikhail Nesterov. The Annunciation. Virgin Mary (1910-1911)


Mikhail Nesterov. The Annunciation


El Greco. The Annunciation (1596-1600) (Prado Museum, Madrid)

Sandro Botticelli. The Annunciation (1495-1498) (Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow)

El Greco. The Annunciation (1576) (Prado Museum, Madrid)

Sandro Botticelli. San Marco Altarpiece. The Annunciation

Sandro Botticelli. The Annunciation (1481) (Uffizi Gallery of Florence)

Sandro Botticelli. The Annunciation (1490-1493) (Glens Falls, New York)

Alessandro Allori (1535-1607)

Sandro Botticelli. The Annunciation (circa 1485) (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Sandro Botticelli. The Cestello Annunciation (1489-1490) (Uffizi Gallery of Florence)

B. Jones (1833-1898)

Leonardo da Vinci. The Annunciation

William Bouguereau (1825-1905)


Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937)

The Annunciation. Archangel Gabriel and Virgin Mary. Godfried Schalcken (1643-1706)

Vladimir Borovikovsky

George H. Swinstead (1860-1926)

George L. Bulleid (1858-1933)

James Tissot (1836-1902)

Gentile Bellini. The Annunciation (1465)

Domenico Beccafumi. The Annunciation

Hans Memling. The Annunciation (1465-1475).
Hans Memling. The Annunciation (circa 1480-1489) (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Nicolas Poussin




Beato Giovanni da Fiesole Angelico. The Annunciation (1432-1443), Diocesan Museum, Cortona

Fra Filippo Lippi

Fra Filippo Lippi

Fra Filippo Lippi

Francesco Albani. The Annunciation

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872). The Annunciation

А. Severetnikov (1962)

Ya.F. Kapkov (1816-1854)

Archangel Gabriel and Virgin Mary. А. Ivanov

S. Shemet (1971)

Archangel Gabriel and Virgin Mary. Andrei Shishkin (2005)


Prepared by Lada

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