Blog post

League of angels

Do you believe in angels?

Julia Schellenberg (opens in new window) (Europeana Foundation)

Do you believe in angels? If you don’t believe in them, you’ll certainly have heard of them. But what do they do for us humans?

assetimage2_new Abraham with the three Angels by Francesco Zugno, 1750-1780. Rijksmuseum, Public Domain

Angel means ‘messenger’, and this is what they do: bring messages to people telling them something they are not aware of. It is commonly believed that angels help and protect us in moments of extreme emergency, both internally and externally. Some even believe that an angel encourages and supports us, helping us develop.

Stanislav Veselovsky Boreas carries Orithyia, 1870/1890. Slovak National Gallery, CC0

Depictions of angels in art have a long tradition. They are a popular and often displayed motif, frequently shown as winged beings with a halo and associated with music, perhaps holding a musical instrument in their hands, and playing beautiful unearthly music. This idea of angels has largely been influenced by the Christian art. Everyday culture, however, shows that our great fascination with angels is now independent of the religious context.

btv1b84294157 Angels, 1945-1985. National Library of France, Public Domain


Angel playing Violin, 1945-1985. National Library of France, Public Domain and Angel playing Organ, 1945-1985. National Library of France, Public Domain