Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Angelus


This is the painting we chose to hang on our newly remodeled kitchen wall. It was painted by Jean-Francois Millet and entitled "Angelus" or the painting of a prayer. I found this site that gave the description of this painting from a sales catalogue when it was up for auction in 1899:

The night is coming: the sun, already below the horizon, is still shining with a warm and golden light on the lower part of the sky and the vast cultivated plain that stretches away as far as the horizon.

The countryside is already radiating the mysterious quietness coming with the end of the day.

On the foreground, in a potato field that they are harvesting, two young people, a young peasant and his companion, have interrupted their work. They are standing up and out against the bright sky. The young man has taken his hat off and his pose expresses a feeling of innocent and touching respect. His is holding his beret in his hands on his chest and his head is bowed. The young girl is joining her hands up close to her face. The two of them are bending their heads; they are meditating and praying to the Creator silently. Actually the Angelus is ringing in the distance, from the steeple of the village church that can be seen on the horizon on the bright sky golden with sunset.

A deep religious feeling radiates from this famous painting that is said to be the most beautiful painting of the modern school and that is undoubtedly the masterpiece of Jean-Francois Millet."
The Angelus was the ringing of the church bell every morning, mid-day and evening. The faithful would stop at the sound of the tolling bell and pray. I love the message of the painting - a poor couple hard at work, stopping near the end of the day, interrupting their work to call upon God. I hope that when I look at it, I can remember to call upon my Heavenly Father and thank him for all of my many blessings.

1 comment:

Marianne said...

What a beautiful painting! And what a perfect match for the wonderful couple who has it hung in their kitchen. PERFECT!