BAR 38:03, May/Jun 2012
Exhibit Watch: The Many Faces of Angels
From cherubs to archangels, God’s divine messengers have inspired artists across cultures and centuries. The Israel Museum’s new exhibit Divine Messengers: Angels in Art features 30 works highlighting the evolution and diversity of angelic representations through depictions of these ubiquitous spirits across centuries of Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions.
Christian art has traditionally depicted angels as winged youths, a portrayal that likely developed from imagery of Hermes, the divine messenger of ancient Greek mythology. Divine Messengers displays this visual tradition of cupids, cherubs, seraphs and archangels through the works of Baroque painters Govaert Flinck, Pieter Lastman and Pedtro Orrente. Both awe-inspiring and familiar, these classical paintings primarily depict angelic tales from the New Testament. The exhibit also explores the influence of Christian angelic art in Jewish and Muslim traditions, displaying illuminated ketubbot (Jewish marriage contracts) and Islamic manuscripts and miniatures.