The painting is a fragment of a larger composition, now missing the figure of the angel. The artist represented Mary as a simple Jewish girl, radiant with supernatural light in the dark interior. Her amazement is not only expressed in her face, but also in the movement of the body and the gesture of hands. The appearance of the original composition is not known, and the authorship is also uncertain. The veritable signature "Rembrandt F." had long been taken as a guarantee of undisputed Rembrandt´s authorship. Contemporary scholarship attributes the painting to Willem Drost, a talented pupil of the great master, and points out a direct influence of the teacher.