Antonello da Messina’s “Virgin Annunciate” appears in a scene from “Of Gods and Men” (Des Hommes et Des Dieux). The film by Xavier Beauvois tells the story of Trappist monks at the Tibhirine monastery during Algeria’s civil war in the 1990s.
A miniature of this 15th century masterpiece (compared to Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa”) sits on the desk of the abbey’s prior, Christian de Charge, played by actor Lambert Wilson. As danger looms, he and his fellow French monks must decide whether to flee the monastery or remain to care for villagers.
I first marveled at this portrait of the Annunciate, draped in an ultramarine blue veil, during a small exhibit of Antonella’s work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2006. (Refer to my post “Hail” just below.)
Time to visit the original painting at Palazzo Abetellis in Palermo, Sicily. For me, it is a stunning portrayal. What do you think?