Angels in Art

The angel has always been a prominent element in Western Art, from the celestial heralds of medieval art, to the surrealist beings in Marc Chagall’s work. Over the centuries angel imagery has evolved from the ethereal to more naturalistic depictions, paralleling society’s progression from faith in the unseen, to a world dominated by scientific explanation.

Angels are usually associated with beauty, but more frightening depictions also exist. This course will consider a myriad of angels in various guises. We will look at many interpretations including Bernini’s highly erotic ‘Ecstasy of St Teresa’, the classical beauty of William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s angels and Breughel’s frenzied painting ‘The Fall of the Rebel Angels’.