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This magnificent canvas may be considered as one of the last of El Greco’s works. The Virgin, of extremely elongated proportions, is depicted at the moment she rises and is surprised by the apparition of the archangel, with her left hand resting on the lectern before which she was praying. Gabriel has already come to rest on the floor and is gesticulating with his right hand. The Holy Spirit appears at the top in an explosion of light and above him, surrounded by boy angels and presided by a young angel who is flying forward with his right arm raised, can be seen figures of the Virtues represented in the usual way as a matron with several children on her lap. From left to right, it is also possible to identify Temperance with a vessel, Faith with the Cross, Prudence holding a mirror and another, perhaps Hope, with no visible attribute, to complete the three Christian virtues. (Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez)
The Guest Work is a programme which has been devised by the Bilbao Art Museum whose intention it is to bring the public closer to exceptional works from other museums and collections.

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