Angel is a collective word for an invisible entity, a disembodied being, a news bearer or a spirit, which in different religious traditions is called differently and takes on different appearance. Angels are the most common fine arts images. First, they were depicted as ordinary people, but since the 8th century they have been painted as pilgrims with wings, radiating light and holding a staff in their hands. In his painting, Fishman shows the image of Guardian-Angel celebrated in the Orthodox tradition.
In the middle of the picture, there is a young man in a green chiton and a red cloak hovering on a cloud. He holds a cross in his right hand and leans on a sword with the left one. Wings are spread behind his back, and there is a halo above his head illuminating the entire space with golden light. It merges into an intricate floral ornament in the corners of the picture. The face, still and impassible, draws particular attention, but his motionlessness is deceptive, as it contains a huge internal dynamism expressed in his eyes. It is a kind of motion that cannot be detected in the material world. Thus, we have an image of a person, but a transformed, divine one. His eyes reveal him being empathetic to ordinary people, suffering for us and our actions, feeling fear for our future and seeking to protect us. His mournful face radiates immense power, inspiring us with both fear and confidence.
The painting belongs to Human Tragedies series. In this picture, the artist made an attempt to reflect the image of a man devoid of passions, rather than of an angel that is commonly accepted. Fishman is worried about how material goods have become dominating over a human in today's world. Through the artistic image of a helper and protector, Fishman expressed people's motivation for self-development and understanding the world, material and non-material one. By depicting such a majestic, awe-inspiring and terrifying creature, Fishman showed the power which people turn to, the one that watches over them, protects them, and is ready to intervene if needed. But it is also men who must believe in themselves, and stay Human with a capital H whatever the situation is.
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21/25/4 cm, oil painting on linden wood