Angels In Art
And suddenly there was
with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
Glory to god in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.
(Luke 2, 13 and 14)
paintings are rich in
The word 'angel' comes from the Greek angelos, which stems from the
Hebrew word mal'akh, which translates to 'messenger'.
Angels date back into ancient Mesopotamia. They are found on relief
carvings and resemble moth like creatures. The angle as we know it did
not surface until the
According to Anna Jameson, author of Sacred and Legendary Art,
"In ancient pictures and
illuminations which exhibit the glorification of the Trinity,
Christ, or the Virgin, the hierarchies of angels are represented in
circles around them, orb within orb. This is called a glory of angels.
In Pictures it is seldom complete: instead of nine circles, the painters
content themselves with one or two circles only. The innermost circles,
the Seraphim and the Cherubim, are in general represented as heads
merely, with two or four or six wings, and of a bright red or blue
color; sometimes with variegated wings, green, yellow, violet, etc. this
emblem intended to shadow forth to human comprehension a pure spirit
glowing with love and intelligence, in which all that is bodily is put
away, and only the head, the seat of soul, and wings, the attribute of
spirit and swiftness, retained is of Greek origin. "