The Cortona Altarpiece (The Annunciation)
tempera on wood
Illustration from The analysis of beauty, written with a view of fixing the fluctuating ideas of taste
In the summer of 1997 we rented a wing of an aristocratic villa near Sant'Angelo di Cortona, down the mountain on which Cortona is located. At the Museo Diocesano in Cortona I found myself in awe of this miraculous painting by Fra Angelico.
I must have been watching the wonder for at least half an hour. The colors, the shapes, the use of space, the way the perspective was done, the hand of the angel pointing, the hands of the virgin… everything a wonderful joy and celebration of life and its wonders.
I was aquainted since early childhood with reproductions from this painting, but facing it's astonishing beauty was overwhelming.
It haunted me for years.
Six years later I painted "Three Apples". Although there is no direct connection, I would never have painted it without seeing this work by Fra Angelico in person.
Dick van Berkum, 2015
Dick van Berkum (NL)
oil on canvas
200 x 150 cm