Raphael’s Angels

Running a Half Marathon in Dresden was an excellent race and combining this event with seeing as many museums as possible made the trip so much more memorable.

Dresden “Old Masters’ Picture Gallery” in the Zwinger building is under renovation, but we were lucky that so much was to be seen. We got a guided tour with a German-speaking guide. It’s good to be challenged, and I regret that I didn’t study harder the five years at school I had to learn German.

The building was nearly utterly destroyed during the bombardment in February 1945, but the art was removed to safety in advance.

One thing I got hold of was that the last century Raphael’s angels have lived a life on their own.

The angels are placed underneath a famous painting, and somehow they got out and figured on Christmas cards and decorations in shops and on small gifts. They are well-known to most people and only when we saw them at the bottom of the painting we understood that they belonged there. Read about Raphael’s life here if you would.

“The Sistine Madonna” c 1512/13



As a new mother and wife in 1980, I wanted to do things in time for Christmas. I found a Christmas diary in Copenhagen where I would be reminded of the different tasks to be done before Christmas to avoid stress. The front page is decorated with one of the angels. For many years the angels were a sign on a famous fashion shop in Copenhagen. It’s still there, and I will check up on their logo next time I go.


Christmas diary

I am not sure that I like the angels because real angles are majestic and huge and nothing like these little Cupid types of angels inspired by the Greek mythology.

A Vermeer painting is one of the other highlights.

“Girl reading a letter” 1657



The last “Highlight” is the “Chocolate Girl” by Jean-Étienne Liotard 1744/45



The children had their own tour where they were supposed to find this painting among many others.

Categories: Art

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  1. I loved “The Girl Reading a Letter” as for “The Chocolate Girl”, that close up detail you gave so very beautiful. I went to Berlin some years back now and I always regretted I had not gone to Dresden. My late Husband had been there before, long before we married, he was in the RAF during the War (he was 30 years older than me) and we had many heated discussions on what was done to that beautiful City by the RAF, during the War. Thank you for a most interesting blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Anna for your kind words. It was a two hours train trip to Berlin from Dresden. I love the Vermeer painting so much. People gather around his works like they want to get into the scene and ask what’s going on. Dresden was more restored this time than 8 years ago. They accelerated the process after the iron curtain had fallen. It’s horrible what happened but somehow Hitler had to know that his regime should come to an end like what was done to the Japanese. In Dresden they have a fine city museum where the two periods of dictatorship are shown and the ruined inner city. But they have no bitterness against the western allies.


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