John Collier’s Image of the Annunciation

The Annunciation and the Visitation

Mary is portrayed in the hands of John Collier much like a girl of the 21st century would be seen as she comes back from school. In her hands is the book of Isaiah saying that “a virgin would conceive and bear a son.” Around here are also the traditional symbols for Mary: Lilies representing her purity, a black window representative of her virginity, and a dove waiting on a nearby house as the Holy Spirit waiting for her. As Henry Ossawa Tanner illustrated, John Collier also paints Mary’s face in astonishment at the spectacle before her. She also looks much younger, a fact most painters don’t seem to capture when replicating the Annunciation scene. The below video is from John Collier himself speaking of the painting, how it was made, and how it was received.

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