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If this is indeed the case, then the scene on the right (detail, right), which I think is the presentation in the Temple as narrated in Luke 2:21-38, provides a contrasting theme of obedience to law and acceptable sacrifice. Furthest left here, under the painted canopy, is a figure who is probably Joseph, holding a basket which might contain the pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons, with Mary very faint indeed beside him, and a small head, almost certainly that of the infant Jesus, beyond to the right. What was probably a standing figure, and therefore perhaps Simeon, is, again very faintly, discernible at the far right.
The question of what was originally in the central section, now diapered with stylised flowers, is likely to remain open. The diapering here looks contemporary with the rest of the painting, but I suspect there was probably a narrative scene - perhaps the Adoration of the Shepherds (keepers of sheep like Abel) here originally. As in the story of Cain and Abel at Kelmscott, where their significance, if any, is discussed, crowned heads look on from the spandrels. The Kelmscott Expulsion from Paradise has been on the site for some time.
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 Annunciation to Shepherds, Hardham, Sussex NEW|
Website for St George's Church, Kelmscott
© Anne Marshall 2001