© 2014 Podorvanov Art Gallery 

MOSCOW, NOVOSLOBODSKAYA STR 20/4

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Angel means a messenger in Greek. The Guardian-Angel painting tells us about a mystical winged creature whose age and sex can not be determined. It is sent to help people using its supernatural powers. The Angel bears resemblance to a human being, but its appearance is perfect: delicate facial features, skin glowing with gold, curly hair lying neatly on its shoulders. Heavy bronze wings behind the back emphasize its celestial origin.

It is wearing a skin-color gold shimmering tunic that reaches to its ankles. The collar of the tunic, as well as the cuffs of the sleeves and the hem, is embroidered in gold and embellished with colored gemstones. Over the tunic, we can see a light-green himation. Light green color symbolizes nature, the beginning of life, eternal renewal, hope and youth. In its left hand, the Angel is holding a standard of truth, a thin rod indicating his being an archangel. It is standing on a cloud, as if hovering in space and thus breaking the laws of physics. Depicting the cloud, the author also shows us the Angel's belonging to the Heavenly City.

In the background, the painting features an interesting landscape: stone hills cut by damp air and wind, a clear wide river running away somewhere in the distance, dark evergreen forests and a stone castle with high walls and watchtowers at the very water's edge. Gray-blue sky putting the final touch to this quiet and peaceful landscape is so overcast that one can barely find the Sun on it. It seems as if the author painted a gloomy, cold October Monday in contrast to the Angel blazing with gold and heat.

There is Jesus Christ depicted on a blue cloud above the Angel's head. Jesus is surrounded by a red sphere located on a floriated frame. Such disposition of Jesus tells us about his belonging to the mankind and his patronage over it. The frame is made of gold in the form of intricately twisted ancient Roman ivy. There's no beginning and no end. It hints at the intricacies of life, of all the events of the material world. 

The size of the Angel is enormous compared to the world around. The height and amplitude of the mountains pale next to it. Should we see the Angel as a natural phenomenon, it is most likely that its appearance in the sky would be similar to the one of lightning, which makes us paralyzed with fear, but still eager to see it again.

Demidov-Koval's masterpiece is full of hidden meaning. When looking at the Angel, it seems that you are looking at an iceberg, most of which is hidden from view. Perhaps, having revealed its secret, one may get to know oneself as well…
 

Guardian-Angel by Demidov-Koval

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    27/31/4 cm, oil painting on linden wood

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