The Ghent Altarpiece Closed.
The most important scene on the closed wings is undoubtebly the one showing the Archangel Gabriel's Annunciation to Mary - a key occurrence in Christian iconography. The painter has combined the four panels to form a single space, albeit one viewed from several perspectives. God's messenger appears in an attractive Flemish interior that looks out onto a street in medieval Ghent. Mary raises her eyes from her prayerbook. Gabriel, holding a lily to symbolise Mary's virginity, hails her with the words (Greetings, most favoured one! The Lord is with you.' He brings Mary the message that the Holy Spirit of Gad shall descend upon her and that she will become the mother of the Messiah, the son of God. The Holy Spirit in the guise of a dove hovers aboce her as she responds, 'Here am I, the servant of the Lord.' With these words, Mary affirm her commitment to God's plan, allowing the salvation of humanity through the incarnation of Christ to begin.
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