Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.

I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop...
It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.


Friday, 25 March 2011

The Annunciation


Today is the Feast of the Annunciation and an opportunity to share another wonderful early fifteenth century painting by Stefan Lochner.

Photo: © Dombauarchiv Köln, Matz und Schenk

Stefan Lochner
Altar of the Three Kings or the City Patrons, c. 1442.
Cologne Cathedral

Photo: © Dombauarchiv Köln, Matz und Schenk

The wings of the altar-piece can be closed to reveal a painting of the Annunciation to the Virgin. Although the scene is divided among two specially framed panels, it creates the impression of being one single image. The richly patterned gold curtain that stretches from one end of the scene to the other and the fact that the ceiling and the stone floor are both painted in perspective creates a very uniform, naturalistic space. Although the greeting of the angel entering the room through the door on the right-hand side seems entirely realistic and spontaneous, the understated colours used for the figures, the gentleness of the Virgin, and her golden nimbus create the impression of timelessness.

From the cathedral website.

Detailed views of this image:
Altar of the City Patrons, c. 1442, Closed Vase with Lilies from the Annunciation Head of the Angel of the  Annunciation Head of the Virgin of the  Annunciation Clasp of Archangel Gabriel's Coat
Dove of the Holy Spirit Altar

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