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The Annunciation
by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
1828 - 1882


Ford Madox Brown

Ford Madox Brown 1821 -1893
St Martin
Adam and Eve
The Crucifixion

William Morris

William Morris
1834 - 1896
Boaz and Ruth
Mary of Bethany
The East Wall

The Pulpit with designs by Morris, Brown and Rossetti, and paintings by Campfield.

the pulpit The Annunciation by Rossetti The Four Evangelists The Doctors of the Church

This simple pulpit is very elaborately decorated. The front panels were painted by George Campfield to designs by Ford Maddox Brown and William Morris.

The upper panels show the Four Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), and the lower panels the Four Doctors of the Western Church: Augustine of Hippo, Gregory, Jerome and Ambrose of Milan.

These are the characters generally portrayed on surviving examples of medieval pulpits.

The North Side of the pulpit is very interesting because this was painted at a later date by Rossetti. The scene, in the two panels, is The Annunciation set in a medieval rose The border for the Annunciation by Rossettigarden with Mary seated reading a devotional work. The angel is looking over the trellis in the upper panel, almost as if he were a lover in a medieval romance. The enclosed garden here is a symbol of Mary's virginity.

The composition is unusual and affecting. The framing is decorated by fleur-de-lis (iris flower) and birds. These are pre-Raphaelite puns; the birds are martins which is a reference to the name of the church, the fleur-de-lis refers to Mary the Virgin.martinsfleur de lis

There are more fleur-de-lis and martins on the south side of the pulpit but they have been cleverly inverted so that they are in fact identical to the ones on the north side.

The pulpit was first commissioned in 1862, but the panels showing the four doctors were not included until 1873 because of the opposition of Archbishop Thompson, who thought that they were too popish.

Many thanks to David Chalmers for providing professional photographs giving detail of the figures depicted on the pulpit. Visit www.davidchalmersphotography.com