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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Convent Thoughts

Collins, Charles Alston (1828 - 1873) :
Convent Thoughts 1851
Oil on canvas; 84 x 59 cm.
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford


A nun contemplates a passion flower. The flower represents the crucifixion of Christ.

In her left hand, she holds an illuminated missal open at an image of the Virgin Mary.

The frame, designed by Millais, is inscribed: SICUT LILIUM ('As the lily among thorns') from the Song of Solomon. This was traditionally associated with the Virgin Mary, as was the enclosed garden.

Collins painted the background while staying in Oxford.