Below is the scripture from Luke upon which these are based. I expect many of you think scripture, particularly in the more artful King James version is a little hard to read. Humor me and read it. I will see you on the other side.
- 26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth 27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Here is a Dante Gabrielle Rossetti of the annunciation. This one is less overblown and I think reads better from our 21st century viewpoint. Mary looks shocked, as well she should be. Stunned. She would have had to be thinking, why me?
Here is Raphael on the same subject. Mary is in a palace of some kind, maybe Greek. Wonderful painting but I personally feel it is so formal the narrative gets lost.
This is my favorite, Mary looks shocked and Gabriel is gliding towards her in a slightly supernatural way I love the color in this painting. It is by Waterhouse, the Victorian English master. It is not overdone and it tells the story.
Well as I am still sick. That's about what I can do tonight. I did get through it, I hope it makes sense. Tomorrow I think we will have to find some Shepherds watching their flocks by night.