In this 1947 oil painting, Colin McCahon sets the biblical story of the Annunciation. This was the moment when the angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to Jesus – not in Nazareth, but in Nelson. The angel floats in the foreground, while the Nelson golf club and distinctive tawny hills provide the background. From early in his career McCahon imbued the New Zealand hills with religious feelings, and he found inspiration in the works of Italian Renaissance painters who located biblical events in a local setting. The black writing of the painting's title at bottom left anticipates McCahon's use of words in later paintings.
Tāngia te kōrero katoa
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
by Colin McCahon
Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.
Courtesy of the Colin McCahon Research and Publication Trust