Friday, December 17, 2010

Michelangelo's Angel

The splendid statue of an angel holding a decorative candlestick (candelabrum) is a masterpiece of the renowned sculptor Michelangelo (1475-1564). He carved it out of a block of marble to decorate the tomb of St. Dominic at Bologna in Italy. Later he was asked how he could make the marvellous model from a shapeless stone. The gifted sculptor replied, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” In his opinion, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” He added, “In every block of marble, I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

These statements illustrate an important insight. There is a virtuous angel within every person. To reveal this angel, we have to get rid of the vices and malice that mask the majestic model. Harmful habits, sinful actions and worldly desires often conceal the real angel within us. Let us transform ourselves to expose and express the exquisite angel in us.


© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India and Leo. S. John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.

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