Frederico Barocci, The Annuciation, an etching

Italy, around AD 1584

Etching of the Annuciation with a view of Urbino

Barocci (about 1535-1612) was the greatest Italian painter of the second half of the sixteenth century. This large Annunciation reproduces his 1584 painting comissioned by the Duke of Urbino for Loreto, and now in the Vatican. It shows a highly individual Madonna with the elegant manners for which the Urbino court was famous. The palace of Urbino is visible through the window, drenched in sunlight.

Barocci has created dramatic contrasts of light and shadow by leaving the plate in the acid bath for only a short time. He then protexted the areas he wished to print lightly with a coat of varnish, (such as the Madonna, the window, the burst of divine light above), and returned the plate to the acid for a longer period. When cleaned and printed, the lightly etched lines print very finely, but the same lines become thick and black where the acid has bitten more deeply, as on the background wall. He has modelled the faces with an unusual stipple of clustered dots.

Although Barocci etched no more than four plates himself, they have earned him the reputation of one of the greatest Italian printmakers.

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More information


S.W. Reed and R. Wallace, Italian etchers of the Renaiss (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1989)

A. Griffiths (ed.), Landmarks in print collecting (London, The British Museum Press)


Height: 437.000 mm
Width: 316.000 mm

Museum number

PD V.8-151 (Bartsch XVII 2.1)


Cracherode Collection


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