Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth, Interior

Accession Number

Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth, Interior

Felix Bonfils

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1867-1885

Medium & Support
​albumen print on paper

10 15/16 in x 14 in (27.78 cm x 35.56 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Margaret and Howard Bond

Subject matter
This photograph shows an interior view of the former Church of the Annunciation (demolished and rebuilt in the twentieth century) in an almost completely symmetrical composition. The diagonal lines formed by two staircases, one on either side of the photograph, lead the eye to the picture’s ostensible main subject: a sculpture of the Virgin Mary. The robed figure of Mary, who appears at the apex of the image, is lost among the suffusion of details that surround her. Further, the three Franciscan friars who stand and/or kneel in prayer similarly almost vanish amid a panoply of decorative elements. Floral patterns on rugs and wallpaper, as well as the foliate grillwork on the banisters, fuse visually with the bouquets of actual living flowers. This image is one of hundreds of photographs made throughout Bonfils's career which purport to document various landscapes, cityscapes, and people of the eastern Mediterranean.

Physical Description
Three figures in black robes stand on or near a landing that connects two staircases in front of a shrine. In the top-middle of the photograph, a sculpture of a robed female figure stands amid numerous rows of vertical candlesticks in front of an arched recess.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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churches (buildings)
hanging lamps
men (male humans)
travel photography

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted