Friday, September 12, 2014

Angels and Gender

                    Calvary United Methodist Church, North Side, Pittsburgh, PA 2014

     As of late I've been looking at a lot of stained glass windows and couldn't help but be struck by how almost always angels are portrayed as female.  Given how the Christian church has relegated women to a secondary, if not completely submissive role, for much of its history, I found this curious.  Indeed, others have asked this question as well, and there doesn't seem to be much of an answer, at least not a clear one.  But there it is, for all to see, in church after church, window after window, from the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany to that of Charles J. Connick, and everyone else in between.  It seems to have been a standard practice for artists creating these masterpieces to default to the female angel.

No comments: