Triptych of the Annunciation, Correa de Vivar

Triptych of the Annunciation, Correa de Vivar
Triptych of the Annunciation, Correa de Vivar

Throughout the history of art we can find names of such famous artists that most of us identify as great figures on the art scene, today anyone could name at least one work by Leonardo da Vinci or Miguel Angel. However, these great figures are so splendid that they end up eclipsing other painters whose work has also been of great importance but who have been relegated to the background; In this sense, today we are going to talk about one of those artists that a priori we could consider as second-rate but whose work is impressive for everyone who knows her.

Juan Correa de Vivar (1510 – 1566) was one of the great Spanish Renaissance artists and one of the best representatives of what is known as the Toledo school. He was born in a small town in the province of Toledo and it seems that he was trained in the workshop of the great Juan de Borgoña where he was able to learn the synthesis between the Italian and Flemish tradition. In reality, there is not much information about his person and until the 19th century, nothing was known other than his last name, although the great art theorists such as Ponz or Cean Bermúdez already had proof of his existence.


On this occasion we will analyze what is considered his most outstanding work,The Annunciation triptychOriginally, the piece was a cupboard-type altarpiececloistered and not a triptych, however, currently only the central panel and the wings are preserved, which means that on numerous occasions it has been erroneously called a triptych. The work was commissioned in 1559 by the prior of a Jerónimos monastery in Avila and it is well documented.

The work is made up of the central panel that represents The Annunciation and is considered to be Correa's masterpiece, as well as two smaller side panelss that represent St. Esteban and San Lorenzo, also on the back of the flaps there were two more scenes: the imposition of the chasuble on San Ildefonso and a representation of San Hilario Abad.

The central panel represents the moment of the Annunciation in which Mary and the angel Gabriel appear in the lower part; she turns to the angel abandoning her reading book. Between the two white lilies appear in allusion to the virginity of Mary. In the upper area, God the Father appears in a kind of cloud surrounded by angels or cherubs and between both groups the dove of the Holy Spirit descending on the Virgin.

Popular topic