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17th Century Carved Wood Ecclesiastical Sculpture of Two Kneeling Angels


This wood carving is fairly typical of 17th century ecclesiastical vernacular carvings to be found in churches all over Western Europe. It shoes a pair of angels kneeling, wearing flowing robes. The wings have all but disappeared. The central post between them was probably intended for a candle. It is 29 cm tall, 29 cm wide and 15 cm deep. The faces are the characteristic strangely circular faces often seen in 17th century sculptures, including sophisticated bronzes. The feeling is still much more Renaissance than Baroque.

This attractive sculpture is a strong decorative element and would look especially good in a white walled, Minimal gallery-like space, where the rich, organic warmth of the wood would sing. This is a comment I am unlikely to repeat, as I do not admire Australian late 20th century Minimalism. I think we did that now period style very poorly, compared to European examples. Severely simplified spaces enclosed by panels of fine wood veneers and rich marbles produce a very different effect from the Australian enthusiasm for white paint and white malamine-coated chipboard: bleak!

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