The Annunciation

Unknown Northern Italian, Italian


16th century

Bronze with gilding and later modifications

Overall: 8 1/16 × 5 15/16 × 3/8 in. (20.4 × 15.1 × 1 cm)

Weight: 1292 g (2.8 lb.)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Roger Arvid Anderson Collection - 250th Anniversary Gift, 1769-2019



Place Made: Italy, Europe



Object Name

Sculpture: Plaquette

Research Area


On view


The three lockplates in this case, as well as the masterpiece lock elsewhere in the gallery, are not usually categorized as sculpture. While clearly functional and part of day-to-day life, these locks are also aesthetic objects that feature styles and motifs of other genres of sculpture. For example, the gilded 16th-century lockplate covered with reliefs of masks, vases, armor, and classical figures repeats designs seen in prints and metalwork throughout this exhibition. In contrast, the plaquette with the scene of the Annunciation was not originally designed as a lockplate but was altered to include a keyhole behind the figure of the archangel Gabriel, depicted during his announcement to the Virgin that she will give birth to the Christ Child. While many lock designs evoke protection and security, this plaquette-turned-lockplate instead suggests the role of the lock in opening doors, just as the Annunciation marked the opening of Mary’s womb to God.

From the 2024 exhibition Living with Sculpture: Presence and Power in Europe, 1400–1750, curated by Elizabeth Rice Mattison, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Programming and Curator of European Art, and Ashley Offill, Curator of Collections

Exhibition History

European Bronzes from the Collection of Roger Arvid Anderson, Class of 1968, Gene Y. Kim, Class of 1985, Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 19, 1996-June 22, 1997, no. 36.

Living with Sculpture: Presence and Power in Europe, 1400–1750, Citrin Family Gallery and Engles Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 23, 2024–March 22, 2025.

Publication History

Roger Arvid Anderson, The Roger Arvid Anderson Collection, Medals, Medallions, Plaquettes and Small Reliefs, Paintings, Sculpture, Works on Paper and Textiles, San Francisco: Roger Arvid Anderson (published privately), design by David L. Wilson, 2015, p. 166.


Acquired by Roger Arvid Anderson, San Francisco, California, date unknown; lent to present collection, 1994; given to present collection, 2016.

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