II. Iconography

II. Iconography There is no fixed iconography for representing angels in the figurative repertoire of the oldest Christian art. At least until the 5th c. the figure of the divine messenger does not seem to show specific individual traits, instead being distinguished by the role and position it occupies in given figurative contexts. Where we can detect their presence with certainty, angels appear in generic terms, no different from those in which sacred persons in general are depicted: they are shown as young, androgynous figures without wings or nimbus, usually beardless and dressed in tunic and pallium. Angels are depicted thus in some OT themes in which, like the biblical narratives, they form an integral part of the figurative context: in scenes of the sacrifice of Isaac, the angel restrains Abraham’s arm, which holds a knife Rome, sarcophagus of the Studio Canova, 4th c., Ws pl. 184,2; in the episode of the three young Jews in the furnace of Babylon the angel is among the flames, representing the divine intervention that renders the fire ineffective Ws pls. 181,3; 201,2; Wp pls. 137,1; 231,1; in the depiction of Daniel in the lions’ den the angel brings him a basket of loaves signed with a cross Rome, dogmatic sarcophagus, Ws pl. 96; in the scene of Balaam the angel is on the ass Rome, hypogeum of via D. Compagni: Ferrua, pl. 104. A final example of wingless angels appears in the cemetery of St. Sebastian, formerly called the cemetery of Vigna Chiaraviglio, where, in a triumphal iconographic context on the wall of an arcosolium, two angels identified by the inscription angelus are positioned on two registers to the right of a scene depicting Christ on the throne flanked by two apostles Estivill 1997, 6-7. Only toward the end of the 4th c. do some specific elements gradually begin to appear, such as wings, nimbus and long garment, that will later become characteristic of the iconography of angels an early example of disputed date: two angels holding a crown with christogram on the Sarig¼zel sarcophagus at Constantinople: D. Talbot Rice, Arte di Bisanzio, Florence 1959, pl. 9. One of the oldest examples is on the Pignatta sarcophagus at Ravenna: see most recently, P. Testini, FR 1977, 321ff.. Such attributes, taken from the Nike and winged cupid of classical art M. Sannibale – P. Liverani, The Classical Origins of Angel Iconography, in A. Duston – A. Nesselrath eds., Angels from the Vatican: The Invisible Made Visible, Catalogo della Mostra, Alexandria 1998, 62-71, consistently recur only from the late 5th and early 6th c. In the 5th and 6th c., directly linked to patristic exegesis, the figure of the angel is at times depicted with red clothes and flesh, signifying their nature of ethereal fire Kirschbaum, L’angelo rosso, 213-215: thus they appear in the triumphal arch of St. Mary Maggiore at Rome 5th c. and in St. Apollinaris Nuovo at Ravenna 6th c.. In the great decorative cycles of churches, angels occupy a place of preeminence with respect to other sacred figures: they precede the saints and are placed immediately next to the enthroned Christ Ravenna, St. Vitale, 6th c. or the triumphal cross Parentium, Euphrasian basilica, 6th c.. They often hold a long baculus, marking them as ostiarii of the church, more rarely a thurible Bawit, chapel of St. Apollo, 6th c. or an orb Kiti, church of the Panaghia Angelikistos, 6th-7th c.. Of the angelic hierarchies, Christian iconography depicted only two types: archangels and cherubim. The first, in the persons of Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, are characterized by the dress of court dignitaries and are depicted as guardians of the presbyterial area of the church; sometimes, as in the mosaics of St. Vitale at Ravenna 6th c. and of the church of the Dormition at Nicaea, they carry a standard with the trisagion of the Greek Mass. In the West the cherubim are given the appearance of the four living creatures of Rev 4:6-7; in the East, the four heads and four wings of Ezek 1:10. G. Stuhlfauth, Die Engel in der altchristlichen Kunst, Freiburg 1897; E. Kirschbaum, L’angelo rosso e l’angelo turchino: RivAC 17 1940 209-249; Th. Klauser, Engel in der Kunst: RAC 5, 258-295; Engel: LCI I, 626-642; D.E. Estivill, La imagen del angel en la Roma del siglo IV: estudio de iconolog­a, Rome 1994; D.E. Estivill, Un contributo per lo studio dell’iconografia degli angeli nel secolo IV: Arte Cristiana 85, 778 Jan.-Feb. 1997 3-10; R. Giuliani, s.v. Angelo: TIP 106-109; EAM 1,629- 638; G. Peers, Subtle Bodies: Representing Angels in Byzantium, Berkeley, CA 2001. C. Carletti ANGERS, Council of. Under the presidency of Eustochium, bishop of Tours, seven bishops who had come to Angers for the episcopal ordination of Thalassius 4 October 453 promulgated twelve disciplinary canons, mainly on the duties of clerics. CCL 148, 137-139; Hfl-Lecl 2,2,883-886; Palazzini 1,37s.Icon of the Trinity Icons Pinterest Icons, Other and Html holidaymapq

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