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At the left of the photograph on the left is the Visitation, with Mary - probably the slightly taller of the two figures - embracing her cousin Elizabeth. Very faint beyond this is a Nativity scene. The main problem here lies in deciding whether the dominant feature in the scene is a striped bedcover hanging down the side of a bed, or the struts of a basket-manger full of hay. On balance I think the latter is more likely, because the stripes are rather too regular and linear for drapery, and the enlarged detail at the left shows, from the left, a hand, perhaps belonging to a midwife, the head of the Ass, a swaddled baby, and an outline in red faintly suggestive of a human head, but very possibly something else entirely, such as part of the Ox. If this is so, then the Ox, like the Ass, is looking at the infant Jesus in the manger. Since the scene almost certainly extended further to the right, onto another area of now blank wall where many other details might have appeared to fill out and continue the story, this uncertainty seems likely to remain.
¹ This subject is now very rare in English churches, but it appears in manuscript illustrations, and scenes of Josephs Doubts, including the Angels reassurance, were an enormously popular part of Mystery Play cycles. One now very indistinct wall painting of Joseph and the Angel, at Black Bourton in Oxfordshire, remains, and Tristram has a drawing of it as Plate 108A in his 13th century volume (Tristram 11).
Website for All Saints, Newton Green
|St. Anne teaching the Virgin to read, Corby Glen, Lincs||St. Anne & Virgin/Miracles of Virgin, Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks||Annunciation/Visitation, Ashampstead, Berkshire||Annunciation, Barnby, Suffolk|
|Annunciation, Chalgrove, Oxon.||Annunciation, Little Melton, Norfolk||Annunciation, Gisleham, Suffolk||Annunciation, Slapton, Northants|
|Annunciation, Sth. Newington, Oxfordshire||Annunciation, Tarrant Crawford, Dorset||Annunciation, Martley, Worcestershire||Annunciation/Visitation, Faversham, Kent|
|Annunciation/Visitation/Nativity, Newton Green, Suffolk||Annunciation/Visitation, Pinvin, Worcs||Annunciation-Fring, Norfolk||Visitation, Dale Abbey, Derbys|
|Visitation, Salisbury (S.Thomas), Wilts.||The Burial of the Virgin, Pickering, N.Yorks NEW||Death, Burial & Coronation of the Virgin, Sutton Bingham, Somerset||Coronation of the Virgin, Black Bourton, Oxon|
|Background to Statue, with painted angels, Brent Eleigh, Suffolk||Virgin Enthroned, with angels, Arundel, Sussex||Virgin Enthroned, with donors, Cawston, Norfolk||Life of the Virgin, Broughton, Oxon.||Virgin & Child, with wand and apple, South Newington, Oxford||Virgin & Child, with sceptre & orb(?), Wickhamford, Worcs.||Virgin suckling the Christ Child, Beckley, Oxon.||Virgin suckling the Christ Child, Belchamp Walter, Essex|
|Death, Burial, Assumption & Coronation of the Virgin, Chalgrove, Oxfordshire||Virgin intervening at the Weighing of Souls, Lathbury, Buckinghamshire||The Annunciation/St Anne teaching the Virgin to read, Chapel of Our Lady of Bradwell, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire NEW||Virgin & child enthroned/With SS Margaret, Catherine & Mary Magdalene, Little Wenham, Suffolk NEW|
© Anne Marshall 2002