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Maker Once Known
The Guardian Angel The Guardian Angel
17th century 17th century

In the centre of this tall rectangular painting on copper, a guardian angel leads a young boy, representing the soul, through a rocky mountain wilderness. Four large corner roundels further elaborate on the guardian angel’s role in the life of the believer, who is shown in these secondary scenes as an adult male. The painter drew heavily from an engraving by the Flemish printmaker Hieronymus Wierix (1553–1619), especially the roundels, each of which are accompanied by explanatory titles in the print. In the top left, the angel directs the man’s gaze up to heavenly light bursting through clouds (teaches and enlightens). In the top right, the angel guides the man to prayer before an altar with a crucifix (leads toward virtue). In the bottom left, the guardian figure watches over the bedridden man while driving away a demon (defends in times of struggle). Lastly, in the bottom right, the figure flies away from the man’s deathbed toward heaven, carrying the deceased’s soul in the luminous form of a swaddled infant (takes to Paradise).

 
Maker Once Known
Spanish Spanish
The Guardian Angel The Guardian Angel
17th century 17th century
Oil on copper Oil on copper
height / width: 42.80 x 30.80 cm; 16.85 x 12.13 in.
Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 1984 Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 1984
27-012

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