|Fra Angelico (1395-1455) Annunciatory angel|
Here's an account of the "sublime exhibition"
where I encountered this angel in 2005.
In front of me is an image of one of Fra Angelico's angels, the reality encountered and the print bought at an extraordinary show at the Met some years ago. The shape between halo and wing is full of grace and beauty, and the flushed, alien skin and rich hair are still alive with an unworldly light. The wings are eyed like a peacock's, seeing everything. How wonderful that half a millenium later, this angel is still speaking, and I am alive and harking to its lovely gestures.
In his turbulent age, Fra Angelico found again and again the peace to make such radiant paintings, ballasted with what Makoto Fujimura calls "angelic weight." In our time, so rife with visual noise and loud, time-frittering leisure and the world's terrible alarms, that peace is an island of hush that still exists if we can only sit still and wait--as I wait now on words.