"Looking For Angels At An Angle: The Renaissance Above And Behind Us" - Sergio Tarantini

Commissioning renaissance artists to canvas churches, paint, and sculpt religious structures from the 14th to 17th century became an increasingly popular trend producing some of the greatest works of art ever created with many pieces featuring angels. In a nutshell, the objective of my gallery is to showcase these feats of man and applaud their attempts at literally painting the heavens above and those who populate it.

The Fall of the Rebel Angels, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1562, From the collection of: Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
The Fall of the Rebel Angels is a colorful depiction of the misguided angels opposing their creator, ultimately losing the battle for Heaven and being cast out by their at one time brethren. St. Michael The Archangel is at the center of the photo, standing triumphantly above his enemies. Pieter Bruegel’s use of lighter colors to paint those on the side of Heaven while the darker colors shade the opposition is a colorful way of portraying good and evil.
The Dead Christ with Two Angels, Bartolomeo Bellano, 1435/1497, From the collection of: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
The Dead Christ with Two Angels is a gilt bronze sculpture illustrating Christ’s death on the cross and eventual transfiguration; floating on either side of him are angels, the physical representation of his ascension into Heaven. At the bottom of the sculpture is the outline of his tomb, portraying the towering figure of Christ rising from the grave while the smaller angels carry him on the cross. The artist’s attention to detail on such a smooth texture is remarkable, perfectly sculpting Christ’s malnourished abdomen to a believable shape.
The Fall of the Rebel Angels, Luca Giordano, 1660/1665, From the collection of: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
The Fall of the Rebel Angels uses a Venetian styled pattern to its advantage, championing St. Michael The Archangel as the painless victor on top of his rebellious brothers. The artist, Luca Giordano, paints Michael’s enemies literally trembling at his feet as his massive white wings spread above their heads.
Christ in Glory with Angels, Belisario Corenzio, ca. 1630, From the collection of: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Created in 1630, this drawing true to its title, representing a skeletal visual of Christ in Glory with Angels as they carry his cross across the Heavens. Many shaded lines are used to complete the image and are found inside of just about every figure seen in the artwork to build a sense of depth and shadow.
Holy Family with Music Making Angels, Attributed to the Master of Frankfurt, About 1515, From the collection of: Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
The Holy Family with Music Making Angels is a traditional piece of art touting the very fundamentals of Renaissance era pieces. The contrast of color throughout this work grabs the viewer’s attention from either side, directing them to focus on The Virgin Mary seen in the middle with baby Jesus. A monkey seen hidden in the lower right hand corner may be a human representation of our primitive nature with the apple of sin from the Garden of Eden in its hands.
Christ Attended in the Tomb by Four Angels, Veneto region 16th Century, c. 1500, From the collection of: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Christ Attended in the Tomb by Four Angels is a bronzed sculpture from an unknown 16th century Italian artist. Extruding from the bronze medium is the body of Christ surrounded by a group of angels lifting him up to Heaven from his resting place. Due to the peaceful presence of angels portrayed as children fenced around his image, a sense of unity is felt as they hold him, providing balance to the sculpture and its implied gritty texture.
Kneeling Angel, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1672, From the collection of: Harvard Art Museums
The Kneeling Angel has many lines carved into its image, building the illusion of cloth apparel when the texture in reality is that of terracotta. Many elements of shape and form are used to craft the angel’s wings, head, arms, and lower body, perfectly encompassing the appearance of an Angel on his knees. Furthermore, it’s as if the angel was sculpted while still in motion as he bows his head solemnly down at the Earth beneath him.
The Dead Christ Supported by an Angel (The Trinity), Rhenish or South Netherlandish 15th Century, c. 1440, From the collection of: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
The Dead Christ Supported by an Angel (The Trinity) expresses imagined movement as Christ is falling, however soon to be caught by his father’s hands. The angel displayed behind Jesus is larger than him, using the element of scale to build a heavenly figure much larger than his own stature. Created during the Renaissance in 1440, the unknown artist uses color to separate Christ and the angel from their sculpted backdrop in the piece.
The Virgin Crowned by Two Angels, German 15th Century, c. 1500, From the collection of: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Mixed patterns of straight and curved lines make up this German white line woodcut print as angels are seen above the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus holding a crown intended for her head. The contrast of light and dark builds upon the stamped image, transmitting every image that we see on the print with a smooth clarity upon multiple early Renaissance forms.
Dead Christ Supported by Two Angels, Probably Venetian 16th Century, c. 1589, From the collection of: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Appearing smooth in texture, this venetian sculpture of Dead Christ Supported by Two Angels is crafted from many horizontal and vertical lines. Jesus is seen in the middle of the two angels, while one appears slightly behind him and the other is offset toward his front, there is an impression of depth and perspective even though the work is based upon a flat oval niello plate.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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