Mary and Elizabeth: Women together

Here is the final image in our May series of modern images of Our Lady.

Mary and EDorothy Webster Hawksley (1884-1970) was a British born artist inspired by old masters and Japanese prints. Although she never married and had no children of her own most of her paintings feature women and children. She paints women with a notable tenderness.

Hawksley had a particular interest in women’s role in society and in their relationships with one another. Many of her works, such as this one, are symbolic of women’s roles throughout history.

In this poignant painting ‘Mary and Elizabeth’ the artist avoids the joy associated with the visitation, and instead offers an image of the elderly woman, Elizabeth, taking Mary’s hand comfortingly, and with concern.

Mtr Kim Wasey writes:

Wisdom imparted in a touch, a look;

 the closeness of women.

Hope, joy and expectancy,

uncertainty, fear and a new reality

intertwined in hearts filled by swelling wombs.

Age and experience, youth and possibility,

combine in shared experiences,

in the intimacy and physicality, of their women’s bodies

and the life they bear within them.

Words are not needed to understand, share, support and nourish one another

they are, not I, but we and us – women together.


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
This entry was posted in Anglican, Anglo Catholic, Art, Catholic, Faith, Mary, Prayer, Saints and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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