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My other favorite angel

My other favorite angel published on No Comments on My other favorite angel

Besides the Angel of Grief, my favorite angel is the one in Abbott Thayer’s painting Stevenson Memorial, which he painted in 1903 to commemorate Robert Louis Stevenson. Most of my comments about the Angel of Grief’s earthy, mortal, emotional nature also apply to the Stevenson Memorial angel. I love her bulk, her weight, her solidity. I love how the browns and greens in her hair, wings and robe reflect the browns and greens of the swallowing background, making her organic, natural and concrete. I love how the background is so dark that she appears to be glowing in the night. I love her melancholy, thoughtful expression, her eyes turned down in contemplation, the fact that she’s almost pouting. I love how she’s not really an angel after all, no diaphanous light-made being with fearsome tidings from God, but an actual, fleshly person bearing the weight of symbolism on her shoulders and the weight of grief in her heart.

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