Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Who made the Angels into females?



When did the angels become "women" or "infants?" The first references to them in the Bible are Raphael ("God Heals"), Gabriel ("Master of God") and Michael ("Who is like God").

Why don't we see more "male" angels who don't spend their time playing harps and singing "Hosannahs?"


Terry Nelson said...

The angels evolved into their feminine characterics during the romantic period in the 19th century - perhaps earlier. The ancient depictions of angels were always young males, beardles with long hair - hence they came to be mistaken for feminine spirits.

Angels have historically been represented as male, no matter what the culture, pagan or Judeo-Christian, since they were considered to possess suprnatural strength and were extremely powerful - characteristics associated with men. (Although the angels, being spirit, have no sex.)

The angels depicted as infants derive from pagan times and represent the souls of deceased infants. These putti, as the Romans called them, were assumed to be the souls of unbaptised infants by the early Christians. They are often used in religious art to represent the cherubim, hence the name cherubs.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Oh, gosh, I was going to say all that, but that stinker, Terry, beat me too it! :-)

The real truth is I started that trend in my dissident days! Really.

ignorant redneck said...

I think it's because it's more fun to draw from live models, and most artists through the romantic period were male--so they enjoyed drawing from live models who were pretty girls.