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From Putti to Angels: The Celestial Creatures in Otto Vaenius’ Paintings and Emblems

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses how a pictor doctus such as Otto Vaenius used figures (putti and angels) in paintings, engravings, and emblems, emphasizing some allegorical iconographies that have been, for the most part, invented by him. As for religious paintings, it is worth noting that, for some pictures, he implicitly refers to various sources, either biblical or exegetical. Many angels and putti are to be found in Vaenius' paintings, designs and emblems. Perhaps his most original one is that of the Triumph of the Catholic Church, intended for humanist viewers, who were likely to meditate on the Catholic Faith. To these erudite eyes, it was clear that angels act as messengers and enlighten the meaning of all the paintings. In the paintings, they are depicted as bridges between an inaccessible and invisible God, and the viewers whose destinies are ephemeral.

Keywords: angels; emblems; Otto Vaenius; putti; religious paintings; Triumph of the Catholic Church

10.1163/9789004262010_028
/content/books/b9789004262010_028
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