Over the past couple of days, I have created a new widget that shows a range of Annunciation scenes. I spent more time on this than I anticipated because I was not aware of the wealth of resources I would find online. In particular, I was able to find a few really excellent examples of Orthodox icons where Mary is not shown reading (a typical choice in Western art), but instead is shown spinning a scarlet thread with a drop spindle - a thread, the legend tells us, that would be used to spin the veil of the temple. Fascinating!
I worked with materials from the Web Gallery of Art and other image aources, so each item in the widget contains an image and a link to the image source (which provides a larger view of the image), along with a brief comment about some distinctive feature of that particular image.
As with the Cross and Crucifixion Scenes widget, this Annunciation Scenes widget is available in both a week-by-week and a random form. You can see the "Annunciation Scene of the Week" widget displayed here in the blog in the right-hand column.
The more I work on developing these week-by-week widgets, the more I think this could be a really useful strategy for sharing basic "religious literacy" information with teachers and students. I know I am learning a lot of good, basic information about religious tradition by assembling these materials, which is usually a good indicator the materials can be useful to others as well!
I'll be writing blog posts here week by week to explore more in depth each of the images featured for the week, hopefully with some help from friends who are interested in this topic as well! So... stay tuned for more - and please feel free to take and use this widget in your own website or blog!