Angels Art works have been created for millennia. Even though nobody has seen an angel in the flesh — and I may be wrong about that — we have an idea of what angels are all about. This is what makes angels the most wonderful beings in the minds of famous artists, art creators of today and people who love art through the ages.
Angels are spiritual beings that look human. I guess we need them to resemble us so that we can identify with them. In most religions, angels aren’t just in the spirit but they are also benevolent spirits. That’s perhaps the reason why angels are almost always endowed with feathery white wings. White, being the symbol of purity and goodness, the feathers are the symbol of kindness.
The angels’ white wings are mostly large and they give us a sense that an angel’s embrace will bring us relief from suffering. When enveloped by them you are like a baby bird, protected.
That is why we need angels and we love angels. That is why we paint the beautiful.
The earliest angels depicted in art had no wings. These painting were said to be from the mid-third century the Cubicolo dell’Annunziazione in the Catacomb of Priscilla. The Priscilla catacombs contain the oldest known Marian paintings, from the early third century. Mary is shown with Jesus on her lap. The catacomb also has a depiction of the Annunciation — where we see the angel.
White Angel Or Myrrhbearers On Christ’s Grave Is World Famous Fresco From The Mileseva Monastery Circa 1230 AD In Serbia, It Depicts An Angel Sitting In Front Of The Tomb Of Christ (photos.com)
Wings were obviously created later, perhaps to differentiate angels from saints (who have halo) and mortal human beings. Let’s look at some of the finest angel paintings in history.
16 and 17th century angels are solid, fleshed out and formal. You feel they are real people you can rest upon. The angels in these paintings tells the story, which is mainly scriptures from the bible. Unlike earlier renders, the stories are less tightly woven to known tales.
The Two Angels Raphael
Personally, this is the motive of angels I like the least. Kid angels are cherubs. In modern literature, they are cupid. I don’t see the appeal. The painting, however is famous. I guess many people like it.
Michael, the archangel is a super protector, and he is dressed in a military gear. Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel of the Old Testament, is described as a “great prince who stands up for the children of your people”.
The Archangel Raphael Bartolome Esteban Murillo
Raphael the Archangel is a healer of God. He is not in warrior garb, but holding a staff. In this painting he is carrying a fish. Symbolic of the Christ.
Unknown, 19th Century Painting Of Angel (from photos.com)
Saint Matthew Writing, Inspired by an Angel, 1600-1602 Print Caravaggio
Caravaggio is special. In the era where angels were formal and forcefully depicted, his angels were already time-beaten and challenged. This makes the man such a brilliant artist.
Angels in the 18th and 19th Century are more colourful and casual.
The modern renders of angels are less reverent less religious. I think we have begun to enjoy the spirit of the angel in a more down to earth manner. The angel has left his or her divine position to be closer to human nature. Is that a good thing? Yes I think so. This makes angels more assessable and thus more attractive. That is why angel paintings and angel artworks are more popular today than ever.
The Moon Maiden, Warwick Goble
Fallen Angels. The first fallen angel to be invented is the angel Lucifer. In the human psyche, where there is good, there also as to be bad. There is seldom anything grey in between.
This is an list of as many paintings of angels images I can attach to this article. It is far from exhaustive. I will definitely try to add some more painting along the way.
You may also like to check out other popular paintings of angels on my site. Art prints of these images are available online.