The Annunciation

Frederic James Shields, 1833 - 1911

The Annunciation

Frederic James Shields 1833 - 1911


Scene depicting the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the Archangel Gabriel that she will give birth to Christ. Situated outdoors on the flat roof of a middle-eastern house, surrounded by a low stone wall, Mary kneels, her head bowed, right hand clasped to her chest and her left hand open and extended outwards - as the winged angel hovers over her. Gabriel, to the left, with blue-pink drapery and a mane of golden hair, gazes down at Mary, extends his right hand towards her head and indicates upwards at the sky with his left hand. Arranged on a mat to the side of Mary, who wears white drapery, are a handful of straws of corn and a piece of bread (a symbol of the Eucharist and the human nature of Christ); growing in the left foreground and behind the Archangel is a plant laden with pink blossom and new leaf growth (possibly almond blossom, a symbol of divine approval and also that of the Virgin Mary). In the right background are the geometric forms of the nearby town buildings within a rocky desert landscape that extends into the horizon where the thin crescent of the moon hangs partly below the horizon. In the otherwise deserted landscape, in the centre background, is the minute figure of a shepherd and his flock. The sky is deep turquoise blue.

Object Name

The Annunciation

Creators Name

Frederic James Shields

Date Created



framed: 104.5cm x 73.4cm
unframed: 84.5cm x 53.5cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint


Leicester Collier Bequest


© Manchester Art Gallery

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