Marianne Stokes: Angels Entertaining the Holy Child

Marianne Stokes (1855-1927), Angels Entertaining the Holy Child, signed ‘Marianne Stokes’ (lower right), oil on canvas, 56 ¾ x 68 ¾ in. (144.2 x 174.6 cm.) Image Source: Christie’s

“A converted sail loft in St Ives provided the backdrop to a series of religious pictures that the Austrian-born painter Marianne Stokes completed during her residence in the town between 1887 and 1899. Her husband Adrian was a pivotal member of the early St Ives colony… The Cornish Telegraph was able to review it before its journey on the train, thus: “The mother, fragile and worn, with more delicate beauty of feature than Mrs Stokes usually aims at, is seated, leaning back, quietly sleeping, on a grey rug against a pile of straw, the straw being painted with particular singularity of detail. In her lap lies the Holy Child, bound in swathing bands, and standing side by side are two twin child angels, whose robes of crimson hue suggest the Incarnation and the passion. Their forms and features are treated with a strange mingling of the real and ideal; they are those of earthly children, with expressions of wonder, devotion and gentle forebodings. In their hands are harps, with which they are soothing the infant Christ. The pose of the child angels is the same, the features the same, the expression the same; in fact one is almost a replica of the other. The picture is indeed striking, the painting wonderful in execution and in delicate feeling, and it will probably be one of the most noted of this year’s pictures”.


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19 Comments Add yours

  1. wjwingrove97 says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. penwithlit says:

    Reblogged this on penwithlit and commented:
    Adrian Stokes was fascinating too- a poet who had a psychoanalysis with Melanie Klein.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful on a trying day. Thank you again, Sunnyside! I’ve been sick and sleepy for quite some time. I apologize for my lack of response lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sorry you are not well, Susan. You have been missed! Prayers for your health and full recovery. ❤️❤️❤️🙏


  4. Have I told you lately what a revelation your blog is. I find your posts informative and fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How very kind of you to say so! I am happy for your visits, Kelly, and hope you have a wonderful Christmas week! 🙂❤️🎄

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dee says:

    I have never seen a closed-eyed Madonna before this. Interesting that the artist chose to represent Mary this way.
    Thank you for bringing this to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure, Dee. My first thought when I saw this painting was that I love the colors; the second was that those angels are so kind to entertain the Christ child while Mary gets some much needed sleep! lol ❤️🙂🎄


      1. Dee says:

        Yes, even Immaculate Mothers need their rest!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. What a harmonious composition! Here, too, is a young, tired mother that women can relate to.


    1. My previous response poofed and each time I try again a sign pops up saying that I have already responded (????). I agree, Rosaliene. Nothing appeals to our humanity more than an exhausted young mother! ❤️


  7. chris ludke says:

    Interesting that there’s only two wings and I’d expect to see four. Is that one dress or two dresses? Are they Siamese twins? The artist did that deliberately. It’s not an accident. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is there a slight hint of a second wing on the angel on the right? I do wonder what the symbolism might be of an angel who lost a wing. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Chris.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Priti says:

    Wonderful! Great art! Thanks for sharing .👌

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sienablue says:

    Our Lady, how she shines, even when exhausted by caring for her Child

    Liked by 1 person

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