Viceroyalty of Peru (Peru), 17th century
Oil on canvas
Inscription above his head “PAX ET A IVSTITIA DEI”
Inscription on the plinth “NOLO MORTE PECCATORIS SED VI MAGIS COVERTATVR ET VIVAT, EZEC, 33.”
Former bullfighter Antonio Fuentes Zurita Collection, Seville (1869–1938)
The Archangel Gabriel is one of the three canonical angels, whose name means “God is my strength”. He is the heavenly messenger par excellence, the teacher of the Patriarch Joseph, and he appears to Mary in the Annunciation, foretelling her Grace. Here he is depicted in all his majesty, standing up with his wings unfurled behind his back. His delicate face is tilted slightly towards the right, while his right hand is holding the dove that represents the Holy Spirit and his left holds the madonna lily, symbol of Mary’s pure and virginal motherhood. He is depicted full length against a background of mountainous outlines, profuse vegetation and a river channel. His rich clothing is made up of loose breeches tied with a silky ribbon that appears to float in the air, a short tunic with a little skirt made of strips, in the fashion of a Roman soldier’s pteruges, adorned with gold buttons that look like precious gemstones, elegant leather boots with gold buttons and brooches decorated with lavish jewels.