This serene, contemplative, and rare, Virgin of the Annunciation can be attributed to the celebrated wood carver and sculptor Giovanni Marigliano, who operated in Naples and was responsible for many of the most important tomb monuments erected in the city in the first half of the 16th century. The clearest comparisons for the present figure, however, are found in Marigliano's early wood sculpture, in particular his Relief with the Virgin of the Annunciation
in the Church of Santa Maria la Nova in Naples, which exhibits the same placid expression and simple, linear, folds of drapery (see Carli, op. cit.
, fig. 89). Marigliano was responsible for two important polychromed wood crib groups: those in San Domenico Maggiore (circa 1507) and Santa Maria del Parto (1524) in Naples. The latter group, in particular, represents a fruitful comparison with the present figure. Each of the figures kneel and bear the same calm, reverent, expressions, and so represent a direct compositional comparison. Note also the thick layers of hair on the heads of the male devotees, which are strikingly similar to the tresses falling about the Virgin's shoulders in the present group. The linearity of the Virgin's drapery finds some of its strongest comparisons in later tomb sculpture by Marigliano. Note, for example, the kneeling Maria Osorio Pimentel, book held in her hands, from the double tomb monument to herself and her husband Pedro de Toledo in the church of San Giacomo degli Spagnoli, Naples (circa 1540-1546); Marigliano's crowning masterpiece.
E. Carli, La scultura lignea Italiana dal XII al XVI secolo, Milan, 1960, pp. 114-117; R. Naldi (ed.), Giovanni da Nola; Annibale Caccavello; Giovan Domenico D'Auria: Sculture 'ritrovate' tra Napoli e Terra di Lavoro 1545-1565, Naples, 2007, p. 93, fig. 71; Antonia Boström. "Marigliano, Giovanni." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.