A World of Holy Angels

A World of Holy Angels
A World of Holy Angels

This painting, which has recently been restored and enhanced by the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, is enough to talk about many things. For example, about the existing relationship between literature and art, since the author herself, the Spanish Ángeles Santos, explained that this particular image came to her mind from some verses of the Andalusian poet Juan Ramón Jiménez.


A world of Angela Santos

That relationship between poetry and painting helped to ensure that at the time, in 1929 when it was painted, its exhibition was a complete success, and various characters from the Spanish cultural scene, such as Ramón Gómez de la Serna or Federico García Lorca, wished to meet this unknown young woman, who from the provinces had been able to capture the interest of those literary figures. And it is that then Ángeles Santos was only 18 years old and she had made this painting in the Castilian city ofValladolid, oblivious to any contact with the Hispanic intelligentsia.

The reason is that the work is really impressive. To start with its size, more or less 9 square meters of fabric that are actually two huge assembled canvases. And then we must take into account that her creator is a woman, that is, if we add her youth, her distance from creative centers and her feminine condition, her success at that time seems almost a miracle.

The outfit is stunningly avant-garde looking. a vanguard thatÁngeles Santos (1911 – 2013), only knew through magazines and photographs. This is how she would have contact with some of the referents that we see in her painting. For example the peculiar art of Joan Miró or the aspect of Expressionism that represents the New German Objectivity with artists like Otto Dix or Georges Grosz.

But obviously it also has a lot in common with Surrealism. We see how there is a kind of globe that has abandoned the spherical shape in favor of the cubic. And around her parade women who go up to the sun, take its light and then create the stars. While another female group occupies the bottom right to flood the entire scene with their music. Undoubtedly, the image has a pagan character and its meaning is absolutely personal, both on the part of the author and on the part of the spectators, because the interpretations of it are very varied. For example, maybe he talks about the sex of angels or maybe the importance of women in making the world go round. But what is clear, regardless of her message, is thatÁngeles Santoswas an artist with an overflowing personality and imagination, and unfortunately not highly valued.

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