Andrea Vanni, who by the standards of his time was exceptionally long-lived, was unusual in being both a painter and having an active political career. He remained true to the tenets of the Sienese school as reinterpreted by Simone Martini - significantly he visited both Naples and Avignon, where the latter had worked, in an official capacity - and to a lesser extent the Lorenzetti. While this ambitious panel is later in date than Vanni's early masterpiece, the Crucifixion and its companion panels (Washington, Corcoran Gallery, no. 26.181), it demonstrates the same narrative preoccupations. The three incidents, the Annunciation echoed by that to the Shepherds are carefully linked by the use of colour, and this is deployed particularly happily in the main scene in which figures and setting are bound by the soft red of the column, the string courses and the Angel's wings. This panel is clearly a relatively late work and elements of the main composition - the Virgin's crossed arms for example - are closely paralleled in the cusp of the subject in the polyptych of 1400 in the church of S. Stefano at Siena.