The Guardians of the Western Approaches



Archangel GabrielArchangel MichaelArchangel Raphael

The Archangel Gabriel to the left, The Archangel Michael in the centre and The Archangel Raphael is on the right

These are design sketches for the Archangels in the work in progress "The Virgin of the Rocks with the child Jesus blessing the Archangels and St John the Baptist"


The Archangel Gabriel

The design sketch shows the original 'searching' sketch which I did with the paper placed over the canvas to achieve the correct perspective the orange lines are produced in CorelDraw which is an illustration package I have used to sort out the folds of the robes. The angel looks female however, angels are spirits and therefore are asexual. When they have appeared to man they usually appear with wings. Gabriel is shown here with Madonna Lilies.

Gabriel is shown kneeling for in my painting 'she' will be shown receiving a blessing from the child Jesus.

The Archangel Michael

St Michael is shown genuflecting to the child Jesus and lowering his spear in salute. He is the only figure who's face will not be shown. I am considering putting a cloak on him. St Michael is usually shown as a warrior in a Roman tunic and armour. 

The Archangel Raphael

This design sketch of St Raphael the Archangel has already been adapted on the canvas and is now ready for painting. In the painting the angel is also kneeling to receive the blessing from the child Jesus.

St Raphael is mentioned in the book of Tobias. Raphael means God has healed. In the painting the Archangel Raphael will be kneeling on a rock at the edge of a pool to receive the blessing. He is signified by the presence of a fish in the water in front of him. In the painting this Archangel is charged with the responsibility of bringing healing to the western world. His feast in the 1962 calendar is 24 October, in the 1970 calendar it is with St Michael and St Gabriel on the 29th September


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Work in Progress

The Guardians of the Western Approaches

The Archangels

Design sketches for the painting