Friday, May 06, 2011


St Raphael Archangel
"St Michael Archangel"

" St. Michael Archangel"

"St Gabriel Archangel"(!!)

            What are the first words that Angels speak on appearing as recorded in Sacred Scripture ? Usually "Noli timere!", "Do not be afraid!", "Be not afraid!" I am quite happy to accept the conventionalism of art.
But I am inclined to the view that the representation should bear some reasonable connection to the known characteristics of the person or being  represented..

In Sacred Scripture Angels always appear as men of awesome countenance, dressed in shining white garments. Their entry upon a scene is immediate and surprising and given that fact and the awe they inspire, it is little wonder that they seek to re-assure the person they appear to on any occasion.

Consider the representations above - a fairly typical selection, or even the representation in this Blog's banner,
some are ridiculous, some are funny, some are schmaltzy some are quirky some are effeminate,  and only one seems to avoid any of these tags - the one showing St. Raphael appearing to a Cistercian Saint .Even that falls short in the awesome / shining garments aspect.None seem to really portray manly strength representing Angelic Power, firmness of visage representing awesome appearance .Surely the Holy Angels deserve better than this! And surely our artists can do, and have done, better than this!

Can you suggest a link in the Com Box?

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Have you tried asking Paul Mooney? He is a gifted Catholic artist living on the Gold Coast with his lovely wife Kim and their 3 children.