Angel Statue

Angel by Benjamin Victor

The Angel has been a fixture in sacred art for as long as we can guess.  Here is a look at a contemporary sculpture Benjamin Victor’s take of the angel subject.  You will find an emotive and poised angel that can captivate any audience with its grace and impeccable form. The sculptor draws inspiration from artistic titans such as Michelangelo and Bernini when designing and creating his figural sculpture. As the angel has a downcast glance as she is lifting off effortlessly into the sky one wonders what is she contemplating.  Is the angel in prayer or sorrow?  

Who is the Artist who Created the Angel

Benjamin Victor

Benjamin Victor’s first work to catch the eye of the National Sculpture Society has his life-size statue of the biblical figure, Samson. Then, at age 23, Aberdeen Regional Airport commissioned him to create a group of three soldiers for their war memorial. His successes have only continued as he has produced both private and public art works throughout the West and upper Midwest until the state of Nevada commission him in 2005 to sculpt Native America historical figure Sarah Winnemucca to be displayed in the United States Statuary Hall in the Captiol Building in Washington D.C. Victor is the only living artist to have three statues in the US Statuary Hall. Along with Sarah Winnemucca you will find Chief Standing Bear (2019) and Dr. Norman E. Borlaug (2014). 

Benjamin Victor's Statues Found In Statuary Hall, US Capitol, DC

Grace Found in The Angel

The sculptor was originally inspired by photographs of a ballet troupe in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was able to collaborate with photographer Christopher Peddecord and watch the dancers which allowed him to see model and dancer Dayna Marshall, who struck the inspirational pose. Victor refers to The Angel as both ethereal and natural as she invites her onlooker to contemplate various themes of duality:

“I just knew that the design itself just had such beauty and grace, and the concepts I was thinking of behind the piece, itself, were the timelessness and temporality of life. Our spirit, essentially, is without time and yet we’re in these bodies, which are very temporal. That was the paradox with which I was working with…you’ve got this young and beautiful angel and she’s ascending with her wings out and we are also looking at her sad and somber pose thinking about life and death, love and beauty, and loss.”

Benjamin Victor

How the Artist Created the Angel

Victor cast two renderings—in clay and in bronze—to demonstrate his artistry. The Angel appears to be hovering in the hair with her wings spread open and her arms crossed, resting on her raised knee, as to suggest that she is maintaining her balance. Her classical drapery flows to insinuate its billowy nature as it provides the sculpture with a sound base. Her bowed head and downcast eyes suggest a delicate and serene pose, which only further enables the onlooker to forget that The Angel is sculpted from solid, heavy materials. Sculpted in 2017, The Angel is currently in the Collection of the Art Renewal Center.

Angel Is Considered Romantic Movement Sculpture

The Angel embodies art of the Romantic Movement, regarding the sculpture’s emotive nature. Victor hopes to communicate the effortlessness of the dancer’s dexterity, but it also captures his own effortlessness of dexterity. The artists that inspired Victor, Michelangelo and Bernini, are often heralded at their command of their materials. Much like ballet dancers, artists use sprezzatura, meaning designing a pose or piece that is difficult look easy. Just as the dancer uses impeccable strength, balance, and technique, Victor commands his mediums of clay and bronze to make such a substantive material appear delicate and afloat.

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Rebeccah Swerdlow

Rebeccah has loved arts and museums for as long as she can remember. From a young age, she has seen much of the world and its treasures and perspectives. She has always loved learning about other cultures, so she decided to pursue an undergraduate degree at Loyola University Maryland with a double major in History and Art History, with a focus on Ancient Greece and Rome. While finishing her degree, she completed a research fellowship and was published in the Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies. She has volunteered at her local historical society and the Baltimore Museum of Art and worked in her university gallery. She then received her Master’s degree at the University of Delaware in Art History where she also worked with curatorial teams for exhibits at the Winterthur Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts as well as the university’s gallery. Rebeccah has frequented museums and galleries in the DC area for years. When she isn’t in a museum, you can find her working in the library of the Naval Historic and Heritage Command while earning her certification from the Society of American Archivists. Rebeccah values history, culture, and learning with the highest degree.
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