As Barbara pointed out already in her post “What if your dreams come true?” we are working on a part in our show about “flying” and “spreading your wings”. Looking for examples of flying creatures, one of the first coming to my mind are of course angels. The main distinction between these creatures and us seems to be the wings on their back. When I was visiting the Gallerie dell’Academia in Venice some days ago, I saw a beautiful example by Carlo Saraceni (1579–1620), painted around 1610:
Carlo Saraceni Saint Cecilia and the Angel (around 1610)
The woman tuning the lute is saint Cecilia, the patroness of musicians and the angel is protecting her and the musical instruments with big, very naturalistic wings. When I see all the instruments on the picture, all referring to music and sound,I start to wonder how the angel’s wings sound. Is it just “flapping” like bird wings? Or is it something more “angel”like, with sounds we human beings don’t know yet?
Another painting in this exhibition, also by Saraceni, tells us what happens when we human beings carry wings ourselves. It is a depiction of “The Fall of Icarus”. Ignoring the warnings of his father, Icarus flies too close to the sun. The wax holding the feathers of his wings together melts and he falls into the sea where he drowns. The wings are attached here to the arms of Icarus and his father, making a much less stable impression than the angel’s wings above. How do these wings sound? More like birds? Or are these more clumsy sounds, making clear that these wings are fragile and instable human-made extensions to our body?
Carlo Saraceni The Fall of Icarus (beginning of the 17th Century)
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Thank you, Cathy, for your beautiful post. I have never thought about the sound of wings and what meaning their sound could carry. It inspires me to search for angelic wing sounds. I am very happy.
I wish I did have wings!
Me too, Sophie!
On YouTube I was watching this video today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ueJ4-lTa1s with music by Parov Stelar and JSM dancing. Seeing the dancer moving his arms I thought this is a very happy way of “flying”, “swinging your wings”, certainly not in an angelic way, but in a very happy human way.
Beautiful pictures – I did actually think about Ikarus, he did not too well with his wings… Which reminds me of the saying: Be careful what you wish for! 🙂
Thanks, Edda. You are quite right, our wishes sometimes can be dangerous. But still…