Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Favourite Angel

I'm not a madly religious person, so I don't know why I love this angel (you can see him in the old citadel of Carcassonne) so much. He has been badly defaced, probably during the Mediaeval upheavals which involved the Cathars and the King of France and consequently has the look of a prize fighter after a particularly bad bout. But then perhaps he's Michael, who was - by all accounts - no mean contender himself.

He's a large stone personage with very shapely arms, and a wide, sensuous mouth and he simply exudes peace. I found myself loitering beside him for ages, taking photographs which didn't quite capture what it was that was so beautiful about him, and eventually just gazing and gazing. The guidebook dismisses him in a few short lines which is a pity because I think whoever made this was an accomplished sculptor. The angel manages to possess qualities of raw, real humanity and an intense spirituality at the same time. He's warm and protective, injured and numinous, all at once. You can tell I was smitten, can't you?

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