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The Annunciation, Martley, Worcestershire (‡Worcester) Mid C.14

Photo:T.Marshall Annunciation, Martley [133KB]
An Annunciation in the chancel of the church, on the south wall. Gabriel, barefoot and holding a scroll in his left hand, salutes Mary with his right. His voluminous robes have traces of what looks like gold-coloured pigment on them, and he probably once had a golden halo.
Mary, wearing similar ample draperies, also has conspicuously bare feet - a very unusual detail since Mary is often the only figure in a group (in, say, a painting of the Ascension), identifiable because she is wearing shoes. Presenting the Virgin unshod like this stresses her ordinariness until this moment, and her humility as well. I do not know of another barefoot virgin in the English parish church, and this painter’s wiry, linear (despite the fullness of the draperies which would once have been areas of solid colour) style is a distinctive one.

Tristram saw small kneeling figures, presumably donors¹, below this painting; these can be glimpsed at the lower corners of the photograph, but they have been reduced to traces now. Some of the very fine painted decoration - including a a very clear running stag - also in the chancel at Martley is on this site, and other paintings in the church will be in due course.

Website for St Peter’s, Martley

¹Tristram 111, p. 222

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