16 December 2009

Angels We Have Heard On High

At this time of year, remember the Parisi, the original settlers of Paris and environs, who were Celts. This heritage helps to explain the distinctive sound of French Chirtsmas carols. Il est né le divin enfant, Minuit Chrétien, Un Flambeau Jeannette Isabelle, and Les Anges dans nos campagnes or Angels We Have Heard On High are readily distinguishable from English and German carols for their sprightly rhythms and celebratory mood.













Although Stefan Lochner (c. 1405-c.1452) who painted Angels Adoring Baby Jesus was a German Gothic artist, I think his angels are the ones we imagine when we hear the angel carol. Lochner's curly-headed angel children are anything but saccharine. Notice the little hand reaching over the picture frame, the moving eyes. Each child an individual personality within the group. They are children, children who like to have fun, just the ones to invite to a celebration.

Note: Stefan Lochner's work is in the Bavarian State Museum, collection of Old Paintings, Munich, Germany.

5 comments:

femminismo said...

Lovely little cherubs! But, like you said, with a touch of reality. Interesting information on the background of Parisian carols! What will you tell us next, O Enlightened One?

Jane said...

Jeanne, Joyeux Noel to you. I hoped that mixing the French and the German wouldn't be too jarring but if angels there are, I want them to be imps and not "goody two shoes." No two of these children have exactly the same facial expression. Since they were painted on wood, they may have been part of a church but I wasn't able to figure that out.

Rouchswalwe said...

Impish angels! I image they would be ale drinkers ... perhaps responsible for putting the spices into the winter ales in the first place.

Jane said...

And if they were Scottish, I think they would drink neggis - if I've spelled it correctly. You heat and stir sherry, honey and lemon juice and have a nice hot toddy - at least according to my grandfather. Frohliches Weihnachten to you.

Rouchswalwe said...

Not only do I find here artists I've not heard of before, but you also introduce me to new drinks! It's snowing here and neggis would suit. Frohes Weihnachtsfest to you, too Jane!