Earlier, I posted an item about one artist’s unique take on Mary’s visit from Gabriel.
Below is another interpretation, from the same artist, John Collier, commissioned for a church (now co-cathedral) in West Virginia.
“In my Annunciation the angel Gabriel stands on a rotting stump which has a living branch growing out of it showing hope and prosperity. Mary is gathering figs when he comes. The stump is the dead stump of Jesse, David’s father, whose lineage of kings, after they are long dead, will yield a new King born to them Jesus, the son of David. You may notice I have made this branch a Sugar Maple tree — the state tree of West Virginia where this work is placed. Mary is shown here as the Second Eve.
The first Eve sinned and covered herself with the leaves of a fig tree. Jesus, you may remember, cursed a fig tree because He came to it and found no fruit. Mary, the Second Eve, is entwined in a fruitful fig tree, fruitful Israel, without sin. I do not know if any other art work has portrayed the fig tree and Mary. In this way it calls our attention to the connection between Mary and Eve, our sin and her sinlessness.”