Bloch’s Angel Wings Are Back! But is it for Good?

LDS Church publications have a history of removing the wings from the angels on non-Mormon works of art, particularly those of Carl Bloch.  Cap sleeves have also been added to cover female angel’s shoulders, I guess for modesty?

The Bloch Angel Used on the Cover of "The New Era"

The Bloch Angel Used on the Cover of “The New Era”

However, maybe things are changing.  The cover of this month’s New Era (Mar 2013), a official Mormon mag for teens, shows Bloch’s “Gethsemane” with a Christ being cradled by an angel with wings.  The wings are not real prominent, but they are there.

This is in contrast to a December 2011 Ensign, another LDS publication, where the wings are missing.  According to Peggy Fletcher Stack (sltrib.com, 4 Mar 2013):

But, in a 2010-11 exhibit of the Danish artist’s [Bloch] giant altar paintings at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, his angels were larger-than-life and fully winged, though the curator acknowledged that in the past the chuch had sometime eliminated wings when using Bloch reproduction in official magazines.

The recent decision not to disfigure a Bloch painting is indeed good news.  I hope this behavior continues.  Altering fine art creates aethetic pain.

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This entry was posted in Art, images of Christ, mormonism, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

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