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The Annunciation : Little Melton, Norfolk (‡Norwich) C.14

Photo:T.Marshall Gabriel, Annunciation, Little Melton [61KB]Virgin, Annunciation, Little Melton[58KB]
The paintings are on the altar wall of the chancel, at either side of and above the altar and are in fact separated by almost the full width of the chancel.

The Annunciation, marking the beginning of the story that reaches its climax in the Sacrament of the Altar, seems to have been a popular subject for the altar wall - the many surviving but now empty niches in the same position would often have held statues of Gabriel and Mary. Gabriel is at the left, Mary at the right - the former may hold the remnants of a scroll, originally with the opening words of his salutation in Luke 1:28. Mary stands, her hands held wide apart to signify astonishment or interrogation. (The various stages in the “Angelic Colloquy” as it came to be called, were codified and much discussed in the Renaissance¹ but medieval artists even in rural England were already painting the development of Mary’s reaction, which is discussed in more detail on the page for the Annunciation at Barnby). Beside Mary is a triple-branched lily, the standard emblem of the event.
There are other paintings at Little Melton, including an example of the Warning Against Idle Gossip.

¹e.g. as described in M.Baxendall, Painting and Experience in 15th-century Italy, Oxford, 1972, p.49ff.

Website for All Saints church

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 2001