A Closer Look: Angels Erika Langmuir

A Closer Look
Publication date:
24 Jun 2010
National Gallery London
96 pages: 210 x 146mm
90 color illus.


Erika Langmuir examines the presence and surprisingly complicated history of angels in Christian art. She points out that angels need not be winged; they can wear antique dress, contemporary church vestments, secular fashions, armor, or nothing at all; their gender and age are uncertain; they may not even have bodies but appear only as winged heads; and they are not always good (Satan, of course, is a fallen angel). Langmuir explores these intriguing characteristics of angels by looking at some of the best-known and most engaging religious paintings in the Western tradition.

Erika Langmuir, OBE, was Head of Education at the National Gallery, London, and is the author of many books, including Masterpieces and The National Gallery Companion Guide.

"An excellent series, 'A Closer Look at...', which guides us through the collections of the National Gallery...so lavishly illustrated, they represent very good value for money indeed"
-Michael Glover, The Independent