Monday, 4 December 2017

Monday 4th December: Annunciation (again)

I promise there will be a break from these endless annunciations soon, after all this isn't just annunciation-vent.  However, I am rather fascinated by the variations in how artists see the moment that our little Virgin Mary is annunciated.  Is that a word?  You know what I mean...

Annunciation (1900) Phoebe Traquair
Here we have a very jolly annunciation from Arts and Crafts High Priestess, Phoebe Traquair.  I like how Mary and the angel seem to be dancing almost, but there is an edge of unwillingness and force.  Look how the angel has hold of Mary's head and both of her hands are caught in his.  Also, no-one is smiling, contrasting with how light and bright the colours are.  I wonder if Mary's pretty bow is referencing her Virgin state - she is still an unopened parcel, if you excuse the expression.

Triptych: Motherhood (1902)

Despite being best know for her role in the Arts and Crafts movement in Scotland, Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936) was born in County Dublin.  She studied  art at the School of Design of the Royal Dublin Society, and married paleontologist Ramsey Traquair, moving to Edinburgh to settle.  Her work, often spiritual, varies from tapestry to murals, book illustrations and metalwork, all jewel-like and beautiful.

Phoebe Traquair's illustration of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portugese
She produced hundreds of pieces of art in her life, including wonderful church murals (including one I visited here) and her volume of work shows the breadth of her talent and flexibility of her vision. I like the tension in her Mary and the Angel which is less about meekly accepting the will of God and more having events unexpectedly thrust upon you, no matter how beautiful it is all meant to be.

See you tomorrow...

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Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx