Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Angels Male or Female or Neither?
How you think seems to depend upon your source.
I am in no way qualified to engage in the argument so would simply offer up this, for consideration.
Last autumn I joined the beginners' class of Iconography at St. Mary's, with no artistic experience or skills to offer.
Carefully following the formula week by week, copying as best I was able the dexterous and gifted tutor's instructions, I found that my puny efforts were producing an odd result.
The picture above is the template of our 'subject', the Angel Gabriel. (Not sure whose work the original is).
The picture on the left is my (finished) effort, albeit short of a week's work.
Below this one is a photo of three other student's work with mine alongside.
The startling fact, regardless of the expertise, or in my case lack of expertise, of the individuals, is that we were all following precisely the same set of instructions, using the same materials and processes, yet every face is different.
Some of those who had greater skills than others, produced a much better likeness of the original, while others had either more, or less, or totally different expressions in the eyes of their/our versions.
Mine as I said, was not very exact. The work was hurried and slapdash, yet the face is highly individual.
Strangest of all, for me, is the fact that from the original A-sexual Gabriel has emerged a distinctly female.
More Gabrielle than Gabriel.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 12:22:00 p.m.