Venice, about 1577
Oil on canvas
277.5 x 156 cm
The Virgin, in the centre, greets her elderly cousin Elizabeth with news of the impending birth of Christ.
After a long barren life, Elizabeth is also miraculously pregnant, with John the Baptist. Veronese locates the meeting in front of a palace. The observers wear contemporary clothes which show off the artist’s skills as a colourist.
The painting was one of six made for a church on the island of Murano, in Venice. It was originally hung higher so we look up towards the holy scene.
Purchased 1953 (No.53.5)