(I've been writing all afternoon which may account for my state of mind). This statue, in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral, depicts The Virgin at the moment of conception, as she utters the words from St Luke's Gospel: "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word".
Germaine Greer has some choice words in the Guardian for Sept 10th on this statue commissioned in 2000 by the Dean and Chapter, I believe:-
It takes what Italians call un bel coraggio to depict the moment of the Incarnation, but the sculptor, David Wynne, is not a man to boggle, especially when he has the friendship and support of that most powerful and discriminating patron of the arts, HRH the Prince of Wales. Wynne shrugged off the shock and distress of the faithful of Ely, ignoring remarks in the local media that the statue looks like Charlie Dimmock, in reference perhaps to its evident bra-lessness. Its nose is much wider and flatter than Charlie's, cheekbones ditto and its eyes appear distinctly slanted; it actually looks more like Genghis Khan in a huge blond wig.
We've visited it with my niece. It is extraordinary. What do you think??