Ancilla Domini; or, Handmaid or ‘maid servant’ of the Lord

Dublin Core


Ancilla Domini; or, Handmaid or ‘maid servant’ of the Lord


Adam, angel, Annunciation, Art, colour, curtain, Eden, Eve, Gabriel, lilies, Mary, Pre-Raphaelite, religious art, Renaissance art, rose, Rupert Bunny (1864-1947), SA, South Australia, symbolism, vermillion, virgin


This work by Australian artist Rupert Bunny was acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia in 1996. It depicts the religious subject of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel descended from heaven to tell Mary that she would conceive the son of God. An angel dressed in white stands with one arm outstretched before the kneeling figure of Mary. The angel holds white lilies, while Mary clutches a white rose and is surrounded by pink roses. The background is dominated by a bold vermillion red curtain and a wall hanging showing Adam and Eve being cast from the Garden of Eden by a sword-wielding angel. This work dates from the 1890s, a time when Bunny was preoccupied with biblical themes. He was influenced by the symbolists of the nineteenth century and also the Pre-Raphaelites, as is evidenced here by “a return to the detailed, brightly coloured and symbolically rich art of the early Italian Renaissance” (See the accompanying information pages on the Art Gallery of South Australia’s website at:


Bunny, Rupert


Art Gallery of South Australia


c. 1896


Art Gallery of South Australia


Oil on Canvas, 100.3 x 110.4cm;

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