What Do I Mean by Angel?

Angels always appear when people encounter border or boundary situations. […] At such moments they are most likely to be noticed and recognized.

Many painters, past and present, have tried their hand at depicting angels. They all agree on the main characteristics, even if they emphasize one or the other more strongly. Sometimes, the clearest message is in the position of the finger; other times, it is in the moving figure, showing that this is about a development process—that there is a “from” and a “to.” However, what is striking in nearly every depiction of angels is the vigilant gaze: awake, serious, and knowing, they focus on the viewer. In iconography, archangels, cherubim, and seraphim are also depicted. The higher the hierarchical order represented, the more eyes the beings are endowed with. The eyes appear not only on the face but also on the hands, the wings, and sometimes even the whole body. This expresses the fact that these beings perceive everything and know everything.

From Michaela Glöckler: Elternsprechstunde—Erziehung aus Verantwortung (Parents’ Consultation Hour—Education Based on Responsibility). Stuttgart 1989.

Translation Laura Liska
Graphic Sofia Lismont

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