Find Salisbury on a map
But the painter here clearly had no reservations about making the pregnancies very explicit through the gestures of Mary and her cousin. Mary, her hair loose in token of her perpetual virginity, is at the left, with Elizabeth, soberly dressed as a matron of the day, to the right. Further right is the blue and pale red doorway of Elizabeths house, and along the horizon in the background are several trees.
The painting, in the Lady Chapel, sits between the Annunciation to its left and the Adoration of the Magi to its right. The symbolic lily-pots and the Orders of the Garter painted on the background form a repeating pattern surrounding all three subjects. All of them, in common with the famous but thoroughly problematic Doom at Salisbury have been restored, probably several times; of the three subjects, this is the most sensitively restored, I think.
The Order of the Garter, incidentally, is believed to be there because the Bishop at the time was also Chancellor of the Order. And perhaps Evil to him who evil thinks¹ was thought to be an apposite response to the impending miraculous births here.
¹Honi soit qui mal y pense, motto of the Order of the Garter
Website for St Thomas Becket, Salisbury
|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 2000