Lichfield Annunciation Icon !!
Here are the full pieces. Actually they are two separate icons which will be placed across from each other on either side of the nave altar.
Several English cathedrals have icons, but almost all are 'imported' and could actually be hung anywhere. These two panels are very specific to Lichfield and its tradition of liturgical art. The Lichfield Angel, an Anglo-Saxon stone carving, formed the first influence, upon which we built a very English piece of iconography, with for example the throne of Our Lady of Walsingham, a late Anglo Saxon shrine also known as England's Nazareth, deftly woven into the piece. The Blessed Mother is dressed as an Anglo-Saxon/early English lady or queen, echoing the provenance of the angel's iconography, while the house of Our Lady is influenced by elements in the Winchester Gospels, but surmounted by three towers, the distinctive feature of a Lichfield cathedral.
These two faces seemed to write themselves. They appeared very fast and with a minimum of reworking and took on some aspects of the 'wet folds' distinctive of early English manuscript iconography.