Description: DGR described this watercolour in his note to the accompanying poem (published in the 1870 Poems ):“The scene is in the house-porch, where Christ holds a bowl of blood from which Zacharias is sprinkling the posts and lintel. Joseph has brought the lamb and Elisabeth lights the pyre. The shoes which John fastens and the bitter herbs which Mary is gathering form part of the ritual.” But not all of these details are in the picture, which DGR left unfinished: in particular, neither Joseph nor Elizabeth appear in the scene. Surtees' comments pick up other important details: “By the opening of the well on the extreme left two pieces of wood tied together with string form a Cross to which the water-cask is attached. The opening framed by a vine, behind the foreground figures, reveals a table in an interior, set with bread and wine” ( vol. 1, 40).
Copyright: ©Tate Gallery, London 2001