The 100 #47 – El Angel…

This strange and incongruous wall relief and text that I photographed in Mexico reminds me of discussions with my past art history students about angels. When we explored the Renaissance I always asked them what sex they thought angels were. Most students believed that angels were male – the intellectuals of the class believed they were unisex or hermaphrodites. I also asked what they thought about the make up of angel wings, the nature of halos, where angels obtained their cool outfits and did they live in nests? Their ideas were legion and creative – in terms of wings (the other questions I might deal with in another post) students thought angel wings could be like bird wings OR be of an unspecified leather type substance like fantasy creatures such as flying dragons OR be custom made by Leonardo…

The Annunciation by Sandro Botticelli. c.1490

Even though quite non-angelic, the double ended wall relief shown above could symbolize the ambiguous nature of traditional angels. The concept of angels may be as fantastical as Hobbits or Alice’s grinning cat but we need to accept them as  factual iconic participants in paintings of our cultural past.

The New Age and UFO movements  have written volumes about El Angel but we all secretly have our own ideas. What do you think of when you think of angels?

The 100′ series was initiated by my 100th Post in April 2012. As text and images are the essence of my blog my intention is to present 100 pieces of textual art from historical and contemporary artists and from my own hand. To view the series to date click on ‘The 100’ in my Category Menu.

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17 thoughts on “The 100 #47 – El Angel…

  1. Cool Photo. Interesting thoughts. My thoughts on angels? That’s a good question. I believe in their existence and that they can take many forms outside the popular portrayal of “wings and halos”. I think they can be both physical and metaphysical. Probably my favorite portrayals of angels, and what they do is in Wim Wenders WINGS OF DESIRE and more recently ANGEL-A.

    1. I’ve heard of Wings of Desire but have not seen it as yet. Angel A I don’t know at all (I don’t have TV). I do believe that whatever we believe exists does exist…

    1. The idea of having 9 lives is on the same level as believing in angels. If you have used up your assumed allotment of lives then it is possible that you have had some assistance…For one, I am happy that you are still here…

  2. I think of those people who just happen to be there at the ‘right time’ to save a situation or person or to open the way to a different approach at times of crisis. They can be saviours, guardians or agents of positive change. Usually, they don’t have wings!

    1. I know about those people who step forward at just the right time and can be seen as angels sans wings. Instead they have first aid skills, wisdom through experience or a magic that cannot be explained…

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