Who is this Angel?
April 22, 2006 6:35 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know the origin of this ubiquitous angel print? It has followed me around all my life in the midwest... I’ve seen all sizes of prints, several different versions including fountains and nightlights. Where did it come from?
posted by dkippe to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
Well, if ebay is to be believed it's a religious italian photo charm apparently it's a bit of a classic, a representation of a guardian angel which shows up in the New Testament as specifically guarding humans on earth, even children, as in Matthew 18:10. The encyclopedia article I linked to says "even little children have guardian angels, and these same angels lose not the vision of God by the fact that they have a mission to fulfil on earth." More from Wikipedia.
posted by jessamyn at 6:54 AM on April 22, 2006

Grew up in the midwest. Never seen it before.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 7:18 AM on April 22, 2006

DieHipsterDie, have you ever been to Cracker Barrel?
posted by andrewzipp at 7:26 AM on April 22, 2006

My great grandmother had that print hanging in her house in rural west TN my entire life. I'm 33, and I imagine her version of the print was older than that by at least 20 years. For that reason, I have a fondness for the print, even though I am not an "angel" person in any other respect. I have a small magnetic version on my fridge... yes, andrewzipp, I think it's from Cracker Barrel.

I'm with dkippe. I would love to know more about it.
posted by kimdog at 7:33 AM on April 22, 2006

(while i like the idea of their being a single artist, and it's even better when it's linbergh's grandmother i suspect it's just a popular theme from victorian times onwards that has been done by a zillion different people)
posted by andrew cooke at 7:33 AM on April 22, 2006

This image is also all over Mexico, Peru and the rest of Latin America, in the form of a print or used in variety of religious-themed objects like this and this.
posted by ibeji at 8:00 AM on April 22, 2006

My maternal grandmother had a chromo of that exact scene hanging in my mother's room, until they sold their house in Polk, NE. My mother kept the chromo when her mother died, until she herself died last year. I have it now.

Mine is a large chromo, about 12 by 18 inches in size, in a dark ornate wooden frame, under glass, and much darker in palette than your link, but exactly the same scene. It is unsigned and uncredited, but I believe mine to have been printed in Germany sometime in the late 1870's, and ordered perhaps from some magazine or German newspaper advertisement of the time, by my maternal great-great grandmother, who would have had it delivered by mail to Polk, NE, about that time.

I doubt that Charles Lindbergh's grandmother was the original artist for this, and instead I think it is work for hire by some artisan who wished to remain unknown, considering that the composition is intentionally saccharin and commercial. I keep this item now only because of its meaning to my mother and grandmother.
posted by paulsc at 10:51 AM on April 22, 2006

I don't know it's origin, but before clicking on it, I thought, "I bet it's the Guardian angel and the children on the bridge." Grew up in southern Ontario FWIW
posted by Robot Johnny at 12:19 PM on April 22, 2006

It looks like an anonymous, popular Victorian chromolithograph. Looking for it, tho, i found the best website evar.
posted by ori at 1:15 PM on April 22, 2006

That image is well-known in the South too - my great-grandmother had the same print in a frame above her couch.
For some reason, it creeped me out as a kid. Looking at it now, I can see why.

Because it's creepy.
posted by bradth27 at 3:31 PM on April 22, 2006

Oh my god Ori.....it burns! and she's a Freeper to boot!
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:01 PM on April 22, 2006

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