Sunday, 11 December 2011

Advent Calender - Day 11

What visual treat lies in store today?

Tissot's The Annuncation 1886-94

Tissot is considered one of the impressionist movement. Towards the end of his life he travelled to the Holy Land where he painted scenes from the old and new testaments, focusing upon the life of Christ. He did these studies in watercolour. This is one of those works and shows the moment where the angel appears unto Mary and informs here that she will give bith to a child and that child would be the son of God.

Notable features are the 'authentic' setting which is given to the scene comparable to works of the Renaissance where Mary is often placed in a very classical context. Such as this Annunciation by Duccio in the National Gallery.

We can see that compared to this work Tissot has dispensed with the more formal symbols of this moment such as the book held in Mary's hand which symbolises the fact she was reading the words of Issiah who prophesised the coming of Christ. Or the dove which symbolises the Holy Spirit shown here:

 Or the Lilies which symbolise the purity of the Virgin Mary.

Instead Tissot has created a more expressive work of art, the sense of the angels arrival is reflected in the dramatisation of the Virgins Clothes which appear to be blown backwards towards her an away from the angel. It is the drapery of the Virgin that reflects much of the drama of the scene.

I thought that an image of the Annunciation was particularlly appropriate for an Advent calender after all this is where it all began!!

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