Icons of the Guardian Angels

Hand painted icon of Guardian Angel - egg tempera on wood

Angels are probably my favourite subject. Depicting angels as winged creatures may have originated from the images of the ancient Greek goddess of victory, Nike. In early Christian icons angels are shown giving the martyrs their crowns, laurel wreaths or palm branches, symbolising victory. In traditional Christian iconography angels are never depicted as frolicking, dimpled babies with wings. Angels are spirits, and haven’t got bodily form, so their images are always a metaphor; however the “mischievous Cupid” kind of image does not correspond to the role the angels play.

Guardian angels are often shown wearing white garments (purity) and holding a sword in one hand, and with the other hand raised in a gesture of prayer. Guardian angels’ role is to pray for us and defend us from evil.