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To the right (west) of the Nativity is the Annunciation to the Shepherds, in two scenes. At the left stands the angel, holding a scroll and with right arm raised to indicate the heavens. At the right, a shepherd, leaning on his crook, seems to be doffing his hat. He once had a small dog, visibly barking at the strange sight, but this has faded into invisibility. There may have been another shepherd beside him. The next scene to the right shows shepherds again, and the painter must have had a reason for presenting this in two separate scenes instead of one. Probably there was more going on in this second moment than now appears. Only one shepherd again doffing his cap or shielding his eyes can be made out now, but there was originally at least one more. In the lower righthand corner are two sheep and, rearing up and facing rather pointedly in the opposite direction, a horned goat. Symbolic meaning (hardly needing elucidation) must surely be present here; it may well be a product of the painters own imagination and not a detail copied from elsewhere.
Several other paintings from Wissington are on the site, including the Adoration and Dream of the Magi (link below), with the Magi in bed this time, a St. Michael Weighing Souls, St. Francis Preaching to the Birds - probably the earliest representation of the saint in England, the remains of a Passion Cycle, and, newly on the site, Two Miracles of St. Nicholas.
Links to other Infancy Scenes
|Annunciation to the Shepherds/Nativity, Ashampstead, Berkshire||Nativity, Corby Glen, Lincs||King Herod, with two Magi and other Nativity scenes, Corby Glen, Lincolnshire||Nativity/Annunciation to the Shepherds, Wissington, Suffolk||Adoration of the Magi, Black Bourton, Oxon.|
|Adoration of the Magi, Edstaston, Shropshire||Nativity/Annunciation to the Shepherds, Faversham, Kent||Adoration of the Magi/Presentation in the Temple, Faversham, Kent||Adoration of the Magi, Heydon, Norfolk||Adoration of the Magi, Pinvin, Worcs|
|Adoration of the Magi, Salisbury (St. Thomas) Wilts||Adoration of the Shepherds/Magi, Thornham Parva, Suffolk||Adoration of the Magi/Dream of the Magi, Wissington, Suffolk||Three Magi, Burton Dassett, Warwicks.||Massacre of the Innocents/Presentation in the Temple, Kelmscott, Oxon.|
|Flight into Egypt, Croughton, Northants||Miracle of the Clay Birds, Shorthampton, Oxon.||Baptism of Christ, Black Bourton, Oxon.||Infancy Cycle, Brook, Kent||Nativity scenes, with Annunication to Shepherds, Hardham, Sussex NEW|
Website for Wissington Church
© Anne Marshall 2001