The subject is Adolphe-William Bouguereau’s painting, Virgin of the Angels dated in 1881. This is a flawless painting depicting baby Jesus with his Mother, the Virgin Mary and the Angels singing by his side. This painting noted Adolphe as a renowned artist during the 1880s. Many people would flock at the chance of owning one of his artworks. In this essay, I will observe and describe this painting and perceive it from my point of view.
Adolphe thought this painting out very meticulously. He sketched the composition in oil and later outlined the drawings before actually painting the piece. He then completes this piece using oil. His work is flawless and very well defined. The painting was x-rayed and upon the negatives, no major changes occurred during the course of this painting. There were a few changes made to the Angel holding the violin but that was about it for such a complex and detailed piece. Later, Mark Leonard, chief gallery conservator, refurbished the painting. He cleaned it up by taking away the dinging look that came with age. Both the old version and the new version were beautiful; however, the detailed version really brightened up the painting and made it look new. .
This painting sings great beauty and elegance. I am a spiritual person so this work pulls my spirituality right to the surface to wear on my sleeve. The innocence depicted, the beautiful earthly colors and the wooden instruments grounds my spirit and casts hope of purity and righteousness. The Angels are graceful and filled with soft beauty. Everyone in the painting is barefoot which is humble and gracious. Even in this silent canvas made of paint, if you look closely, you can hear them play music.
Just looking at this painting, without knowing the facts, it sheds light on the innocence of a child and that Angels can exist and they make music with joy. Angels can exist in the mind and on canvas which welcomes more belief that they really can just exist. Each Angel has an instrument which is their way of contributing to the celebration of life. The purity of their white robes and antique instruments sends a subtle message of just and right.
Virgin of Angels captures an everlasting peaceful moment that ultimately divine. Everything in the world is at peace in this painting and that brings peace to the mind. The world is not always peaceful but times when moments like these are captured on canvas are legendary messages of how beautiful peace looks. They are also surrounded in nature. Virgin Mary rests on the tree and the Angels ground their bare feet on the dirt path. This painting is very simple and sweet but also complex and powerful all at the same time.
The story of Jesus is not entirely serene and peaceful but thanks to God for an artist to capture such an Angelic moment of peace in the life of Jesus Christ. I would have to say that this painting is utterly everlasting and eternal to all that is peaceful, holy and righteous. It makes me believe in the good and the Angelic. That when I say the “Angles will sing”, I mean the Angels will sing. If I can stand by that saying in 2015 and a magnificent artist can stand by that in his oil painting of 1881, I think we can say something about Angels and the son of the Father.
The J. Paul Getty Museum . Research and Conservation . n.d. Web. 1 July 2015.