The Dove, as a symbol of the Holy Spirit

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The Baptism of Christ


Andrea del Verrocchio, Battesimo di Cristo, c1475, oil on panel, 177 x 151 cm, Galleria degli Uffizzi, Florence, Italy

The work was painted in the studio of Andrea del Verrocchio and generally ascribed to him and his pupil Leonardo da Vinci, and perhaps others as well.
The angel to the left is supposed to have been painted by the youthful Leonardo. In fact , although the work is still attributed to Verrocchio, it is becoming increasingly thought that much of the landscape in the background and the figure of Christ are also the work of Leonardo.


Piero della Francesca, Battesimo di Cristo, 1448-1450, tempora on poplar panel, I18 x 116 cm, National Gallery, London, UK.

The Annunciation


Joos van Cleve, Annunciation, 1525, oil on wood, 86 x 80 cm,  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA


Carlo Crevelli, L’Annunciazione di Ascoli, o Annunciazione con sant’Emidios, 1486, oil on canvas, 207 x 147 cm, National Gallery, London, UK

This painting was also discussed at an earlier meeting of the group

Details from the Crevelli version

The Holy Spirit descends towards Mary


Other doves hover near a dovecote on the house opposite, and perch on a balcony

There are two other birds

A peacock, Christian symbol of immortality and the Resurrection, sits on a balcony directly above Mary’s chamber


and a caged goldfinch.  Because of the thistle seeds it eats, in Christian symbolism the goldfinch is associated with Christ’s Passion and his crown of thorns







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