Symbolism Sunday, Angels

August 8, 2010

It’s that time again to relax, and turn your eyes over to some quick symbolism!

As the ‘messengers of God’, angels are commonly thought to fit into the paradigm of Judeo-Christian, which is quite acceptable, but their transcendence in art and their ubiquitous use (even through the less-overtly religious Neoclassical era) is given to their focus as spiritual beings. Furthermore, their presence is a clear statement of the afterlife, protection and an acknowledgement of the spirit after death. From the earliest Christian depictions of the iconic ‘angel’ (with wings), angels became one of the more prominent foci of ecclesiastical art through to the early modern period of the Renaissance and Enlightenment. From this, the angel in memorial art is still used today, greatly connected to funeralia and its symbolism.

Two angels: Can be named, and are identified by the objects they carry: Michael, who bears a sword and Gabriel, who is depicted with a horn.

Blowing a trumpet: (or even two trumpets) representing the day of judgement, and Call to the Resurrection

Carrying the departed soul as a child in their arms, or as a Guardian embracing the dead. The “messengers of god” are often shown escorting the deceased to heaven.

Flying Angel: Rebirth

Many angels gathered together in the clouds: represents heaven.

Weeping: Grief, or mourning an untimely death.

Got all that? Now go and apply it!

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