A Closer Look: Angels

Erika Langmuir

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Erika Langmuir examines the presence and surprisingly complicated history of angels in Christian art. She points out that angels need not be winged; they can wear antique dress, contemporary church vestments, secular fashions, armor, or nothing at all; their gender and age are uncertain; they may not even have bodies but appear only as winged heads; and they are not always good (Satan, of course, is a fallen angel). Langmuir explores these intriguing characteristics of angels by looking at some of the best-known and most engaging religious paintings in the Western tradition.

Erika Langmuir, OBE, was Head of Education at the National Gallery, London, and is the author of many books, including Masterpieces and The National Gallery Companion Guide.

ISBN: 9781857094848
Publication Date: June 24, 2010
Publishing Partner: Published by the National Gallery Company/Distributed by Yale University Press
96 pages, 5 3/4 x 8 1/4
90 color illus.