As December has reached us again, it’s time once more to begin Auckland TheoRel’s annual advent calender. For those who haven’t come across this tradition of ours before, let me explain. Each day of December, we will post an image (usually of a painting, sculpture, or other artwork) that has a biblical or religious theme. You can see our previous calenders here (2013) and here (2014) – they’ve been quite popular in past years and we enjoy doing them too!
So, for our first Advent offering of 2015, and to get us in the party mood, what better way to begin than with a musical angel?
This iconic painting is by Giovanni Battista di Jacopo, a Florentine artist in the 16th Century (1494-1540), and is believed to be but a small part of a (long-since lost) altarpiece, which may have depicted the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus, surrounded by musical putti (cherubs). This particular putto, with his fiery wings and even fierier red hair, looks intent on his playing, his chubby fingers picking out an angelic melody on his lute. Interestingly enough, the artist of this beautiful image was better known to his contemporaries as Rosso Fiorentino (literally ‘red Florentine’) owing to his own mop of red hair. Perhaps it’s no coincidence then that this angelic figure should affirm for the viewer the heavenly origins of such fine flame-coloured curls.
Happy advent and see you tomorrow!