My daughter and I saw this George Hitchcock painting at the Art Institute of Chicago.
I wanted to write about the painting, but first I went looking for more about Hitchcock. I found out that he lived from 1850 to 1913. He was American, but did most of his painting in the Netherlands, where he lived in a houseboat. I also found some other paintings of his that I loved, including these two which were also of Mary. I wondered if he had used the same model for all three. The first and second look a lot alike; it's hard to tell with the third because you can't see Mary's face.
George Hitchcock Paints Mary
He painted her in a field of lilies.
The painting is called “Annunciation,”
but Mary is alone
among rows and rows of lilies,
some trampled down
as though recently visited
by an angel.
She’s dressed in blue
with a halo on her head.
He painted her holding a newborn.
She’s sitting in a field
with a cow in the background.
She’s surrounded by flowers:
a pink tulip, daisies and dandelions.
There’s a flowering tree.
She’s wearing a purple cloak
and a halo
and looking new-mother tired.
He painted her fleeing to Egypt.
She’s on a donkey,
and this time she’s bareheaded,
and that must be a baby in her arms,
but the eye is mostly drawn to the
Queen Anne’s lace and cornflowers in the field.
Joseph follows behind.
Wherever she goes,
there are flowers,
as though they spring up ahead of her and behind her,
as though they want to be near her,
as though the challenges of her life
are made a little easier by their bright beauty.
Ruth, from thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
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