Angels portray various images of their form in movies. Have fun, some are wearing white clothes and beaming and bright. There are also the beautiful and handsome forms.
Actually what are the real form of angels?
Now, no one knows for sure, but through these films most believers are like angels. Likewise, illustrators portray angels almost the same as in movies and fiction.
According to biblical sources, Cherubim and Seraphim are the only types of angels that have wings (Exodus 25:20, Ezekiel 10, Isaiah 6). Hebrews 1:14 describes angels simply as spiritual beings; therefore, it is most correct to say that only some angels are winged.
Check the Amazing Illustrations of Angels below!
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Who are angels, and why are angel drawings so popular?
According to Zoroastrianism and Abrahamic beliefs, angles are superior spiritual beings with immense intelligence and powers.
Drawings of angels showcase their nature as benevolent and often dreadful, and represent them as wise beings full of earthly knowledge.
It is because of that that pictures of angles often represent them striving against each other, with God appearing there to make peace between them, and to help them pursue their role as guardian spirits between the Heaven and Earth.
In fact, there is an entire theological doctrine called angelology that is studying them.
According to it, ‘angel’ is a God-inspired word, used to explain spirits’ artistic depictions, and to refer in a figurative manner to harbingers and messengers, or normal people known by their purity, selflessness, goodness, beauty, and intelligence.
Another thing angels are known by is their noble and spiritual mission, such as interpreting God’s words, destroying evil, representing God, or being the messenger of the covenant. These are the topics to be found most often on an angel sketch.
When it comes to fine art, sketches of angles represent them as humanly shaped beings surrounded by mystic symbols, such as halos, orioles, wings, and surreal light.
Angel Drawing Art
Pope John Paul II addressed his believers during a General Audience in 1986 called ‘Angels participate in the history of salvation’, explaining that angels don’t have the human shape we like to believe they have, but are spirits that make themselves visible in different forms, depending on their mission.
Still, this didn’t stop artists from depicting them in human forms (male, to be more precise), or believers who refer to Four Living Creatures, Revelation 4:6-8 from claiming angels look like human ever since Cherubim and Seraphim were described like this in the Hebrew Bible.
At the same time, Cherubim and Seraphim have wings, and that’s not mentioned anywhere else afterwards.
From all pictures of angels that are available nowadays, the one believed to be the youngest is the Cubicolo dell’Annunziazione, nowadays to be found in the Priscilla Catacomb (dating since the middle 3rd century). On this picture, the angel has no wings.Other angel sketches from the same period showcase angels on reliquaries, lamps, and sarcophagi, where they also lack their wings (as for instance Isaac’s sacrifice scene on Junius Basscus Sarchophagus). In fact, this Sarcophagus is a very disputable one, as on the side view it did reveal some winged creatures.
On the other hand, the first time an angel was drawn with his wings was on the ‘Prince’s Sarcophagus’, recovered in the late 1930s in Sariguzel (Turkey) and believed to originate from the period between 379 and 395 (the ruling of Theodosius I).
It was right after that that angels started being represented with wings, which can also be confirmed by looking at the Saint Mary Major Basilica mosaics dating from the 432-440 period.Angels such as Cherubim and Seraphim, which have either four or six wings are believed to originate from Persian art, and were most of the time showcased on heavenly settings instead of performing their sacred duties on Earth. Most commonly, they can be seen on churches’ and semi-domes’ pedentives.
Another particular example are the depictions of Greek gods Eros and Thanatos, the same as Goddess Nike, which looked absolutely human, but they also had wings.
The real meaning of wings was explained by Saint John Chrysostom:
Wings are meant to represent the sublimity of nature. It is because of that that only certain angels have them (Gabriel, for instance), and the idea is to display how angels are able to leave Heaven and come down to Earth. According to him, that’s the only reason why angels are drawn with wings.
In Mormon art, on the other hand, angels don’t have wings, and that’s because of Joseph Smith’s quote ‘An angel of God never has wings’.
What can be seen from Archangel Michael is that angels were the ‘soldiers of God’, or as many experts call them, the military-style agents. It is because of that those angels are wearing late Antique-inspired uniforms.
Most of the time, the uniforms are simple military dresses, namely a mid-length tunic, pteruges and armor breastplates, but angels are also sometimes represented wearing specific bodyguard dresses from the time of the Byzantine Empire, including long tunics and loros, and a golden pallium which was at the time entrusted only to the imperials and their personal guards.
During Baroque, Western art seemed to prefer basic military dressing, and the preference was kept until today in many Eastern Orthodox churches.
Sometimes, angles can be seen wearing conventional long robe, as in the Middle Age they were represented in deacon vestments, wearing copes over the dalmatic. This specific costume is what Gabriel is wearing in the Annunciation scene, as it was shown by the work of Jan van Eyck kept in Washington.
Finally, there are angels whose clothing is less common, trying to depict some of their frightening attributes. A typical example for that is Seraphim’s fiery body, and Ophanim’s wheel-like structure.
Drawing an angel
Angels are extremely popular and timeless art-motifs, but ones that are at the same time difficult to draw or design.
Drawing them requires both skills and patience, but it is an art we’d all like to master for our interior designs or at least Christmas decorations.
Those of you who tried doing it certainly know it takes time to depict all facial details, clothing elements, or styles, and that most of the time the attempt to draw a proper angel ends up into drawing an intimidating warrior.
The easier part, however, is to draw the wings, as we’ve all eventually tried to do it and came up with an original idea. In case you didn’t, you can check the endless variations available on the Internet, and use your own imagination to personalize them.
The best course of action is to look for old and genuine master paintings, which can also prove wings rarely have the same shapes and sizes. The conclusion will most probably be that the looks of both the angel and his wings are up to the artist to decide.
The only rules here are to draw long and feathered wings for Archangels, Love and Guardian angels, and to represent the rest of them as cute children with small wings and curly hair. Once you know the basics, it will be easy to proceed with your own variations.
Angel drawings inspiration
Divine as they may seem in your imagination, the angels’ image has been modified seriously by some artists as you will see in the next pictures.
It is more likely to find a warrior angel, a dark one or even a devilish looking than the usual pure angelic figure.
But have no worries, we still have the oldschool image. For example, of the archangels Michael or Gabriel as soldiers in the army of God or the blonde, pure of heart virgin.
Angel drawings you should check out