Angels, Art and the Bible

Archangel Michael

Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians all share the belief that every human being has a guardian angel watching over him or her. Muslims believe that each person has four angels, malaa’ika – two recording their good deeds, the other two, their bad. Angels, the Bible and art. In this article, different depictions of angels in art are present along with the Bible passages that inspired them.

Angels, art and the Bible

There are many stories in the Bible featuring angels. And these stories have inspired great pieces of art. We take a look at some well-known pieces of angel-art with a note of the passage in the Bible that inspired that artwork. 

Angels guarding the Garden of Eden:
Genesis 3:20-24

Adam and Eve Driven From Paradise
Adam and Eve Driven From Paradise, James Jacques Joseph Tissot, c. 1896-1902, Source: Wikimedia Commons

Jacob’s ladder:
Genesis 28:10-12

Jacob’s Ladder,
Jacob’s Ladder, William Blake, c. 1799-1806, Source: WikiArt

Archangel Raphael discloses his identity:
Tobit 12:11-22

Archangel Raphael with Tobias
Archangel Raphael with Tobias, Pietro Perugino, c. 1496-1500, Source: WikiArt

An angel shuts the lions’ mouths:
Daniel 6:16-22

Daniel in the Lion’s Den,
Daniel in the Lion’s Den, David Teniers the Younger, c. 1655-1656, Source: Wikimedia Commons

Archangel Gabriel’s announcement of the Incarnation:
Luke 1:26-38

The Annunciation, Dante Gabriel
The Annunciation, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, circa 1849, Source: Wikimedia Commons

An angel warns Joseph to flee:
Matthew 2:13-15

Joseph’s dream, Daniele Crespi,
Joseph’s dream, Daniele Crespi, c. 1620-1630, Source: Wikimedia Commons

An angel comforts Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane:
Luke 22:41-45

An angel comforting Jesus before his arrest
An angel comforting Jesus before his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Carl Bloch, 1873, Source: WikiArt

Angels inside Jesus’ tomb:
John 20:11-17

Angels at Christ's tomb

Christ in the Sepulchre, William Blake, c. 1805, Source: WikiArt

An angel frees Peter from prison:
Acts 12:6-10

The Liberation of St. Peter,
The Liberation of St. Peter, Antonio de Bellis, c. 1640, Source: Wikimedia Commons

Archangel Michael Vanquishing Satan:
Revelation 12:7-9

Archangel Michael Vanquishing Satan
Archangel Michael Vanquishing Satan, Raphael, 1518, Source: WikiArt

Image Source: Wiki Art, Wikimedia Commons



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