Painting, 'But Mary Kept all these Things and Pondered them in her Heart' by Alice Havers (Mrs Frederick Morgan) 1850-1890, oil on canvas, circa 1888; 122.2 cm x 91.9 cm; signed upper right 'ALICE HAVERS'
The title of this painting is a biblical quote taken from St Luke’s Gospel (chapter II, verse 19). An angel reveals the birth of the Son of God to shepherds watching their flocks in a field. Arriving in Bethlehem, the shepherds repeat what the angel told them. Amidst the general clamour and astonishment at these news, Mary carefully considers their words about her extraordinary son.
Here Havers has portrayed Mary in shadow, pensively looking out of the painting, with the baby Jesus asleep on her lap and bathed in golden light, perhaps a hint to their respective positions within the Bible. Havers exhibited this intense and affectionate portrayal of motherhood at the Royal Academy in 1888 and the Paris Salon in 1889. Highly successful as an artist and illustrator during her lifetime, Havers’ career was cut short by her early death.