why do these angels have twisted wings?
April 8, 2012 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Why do some of the stained glass angels in my church have one wing pointed up and one wing pointed down?

These windows date from the 30s. The main one I am thinking of is St Michael, but there are a few more depicted this way in other scenes. There are also angels whose wings just lie behind them, pointed down, as you would typically see them.

Is this strictly a stylistic choice or is there some greater significance to this?
posted by Biblio to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
There isn't an iconographic significance I have ever heard of for that; it sounds like an attempt to render a contrapposto position with the wings. Wings get kind of boring, visually, if you don't do something fun with them.

Angels are generally shown with their hands covered when they're approaching Jesus. That's the only iconographic variation I remember hearing about the depiction of angels.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:09 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

If the wing on the right is pointed skyward and the wing on the left is pointed to hell, this iconography refers to the Judgement Day.
posted by effluvia at 7:45 PM on April 8, 2012

Take a look at Michelangelo's Christ in the Last Judgement in the Vatican as another example. You will see all of the subjects to the left and right getting their Just Desserts.
posted by effluvia at 7:46 PM on April 8, 2012

Depicting the function of angels as messengers between God / heaven and Man / earth?
posted by rjs at 1:16 AM on April 9, 2012

« Older Separation Anxiety in Dog   |   Help me break out of my shoe rut! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.