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The Visitation, Dale Abbey (‡Derby) Early C. 14?

Photo:T.Marshall Visitation, Dale Abbey [26KB]
This very tenderly-realised painting of the encounter between the Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth is in the small-windowed 12th century church. The ruins of Dale Abbey itself, now reduced to the arch of the great East Window, are visible from the churchyard. Apart from a fragment visible at the right (possibly the Annunciation or a Nativity Scene), this is the only painting now left in the church. Others may well have been lost when the roof was lowered in about 1480, but the Visitation is rather low down on the wall, and was unaffected. Visitation, Dale Abbey, detail (33KB) It is hard to absolutely certain, but I think the Virgin herself is the figure on the right, being greeted by Elizabeth.

At the time this painting was probably made, the Abbey was occupied by Premonstratensian canons. Since the Visitation is a high-quality work, it may have been commissioned by the canons, or perhaps even painted by one of their number. Some of Dale Abbey’s fine 15th century stained glass is now in the parish church at Morley, about three miles to the north-west.

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

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Anne Marshall 2000**++