Eugene Delacroix, Jacob Wrestling The Angel
Inkjet on watercolour paper
85 x 57 cm
The idea of an angel in human form, and equipped with wings, is almost science fiction-like in its imaginative freedom. Despite bible scholars asserting that it is a fiction, visual artists from the middle ages onward have been quite happy to ignore that technicality, and as a child looking at such paintings I was fascinated and puzzled by these details, including the haloes around the saints' heads.
Thus it was only natural that one of this series of re-imaginings should depict an angel, and the Eugene Delacroix mural at the Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris provided the preferred pose. In the first version of this print I also included some background details seen in the Delacroix mural, albeit substituting the horsemen with a road full of motor car traffic. The idea of motorists speeding past, oblivious of the drama taking place, was quite amusing, but I finally opted for simplicity by stripping away that inessential detail, and focused on building a visually strong landscape worthy of containing the interlocked wrestlers. The only concession to modernity, apart from Jacob's sports gear attire, is a telegraph pole visible in the top left of the frame.
Gustave Dore, Jacob Wrestling With the Angel: Wikimedia Commons
Gauguin, The Vision after the Sermon (Jacob wrestling with the Angel): Wikiart
One day in the kingdom of darkness: The Guardian