Product Focus: The Fall of the Rebel Angels

The fall of the rebel angels was one of the most dominant themes to the Counter-Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries, which saw a resurgence of Catholicism against the Protestant reformation, as well as internal renewal within the Catholic Church. The story is the first instance of Good vs Evil, after Lucifer and 6 other angels were banished from Heaven.

The Composition

Using a popular theme of the time which allowed the church to present its struggle against heresy, Giordano presents the triumph of Good over Evil showing the angel St Michael in a golden light, with the fallen angels in darkness underneath. The struggling angel represents the triumph of light over darkness, heaven over hell, and the blessed with the condemned, all confined within a confined space thus creating a tension between the two parties.

St Michael is an effortless warrior, depicted as a classical Roman figure, fighting gracefully and elegantly. That he does not use his sword, but rather wields it as a sign of victory, suggests that his appearance alone is enough to cast Satan and his followers to eternal damnation. This is further compounded by St Michael delicately balancing on Satan's shoulder, with his wings reflecting light down upon the cast out angels below.

Fall of the Rebel Angels Luca Giordano

At 419 cm × 283 cm, the painting was destined to be an altarpiece, however is is not known who originally commissioned the altarpiece, which went to Vienna at an early date. The barons Bartolotti von Partenfeld renovated the chapel of St. Louis in Vienna’s Minorite Church in the late 17th century, and in 1698 donated Giordano’s work for the new altar. The work can be found in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna where it has been since 1785.

The Artist

Luca Giordano was born in Naples in 1634 and son of the painter Antonio Giordano. Following an apprenticeship to José de Ribera, who heavily influenced his early works, Giordano studied in Rome, Parma and Venice where he developed his Baroque style fusing both Venetian and Roman influences.

At the invitation of Charles II of Spain, Giordano spent a decade at his court where he painted a series of major decorative scenes. One of which, The Allegory of the Golden Fleece, was painted in the Buen Retiro palace that is now an annex of the Prado Museum in Spain. 

After Charles II's death in 1702, Giordano returned home to Naples where he continued to paint prolifically in a lighter style until his death in 1705. 

Luca Giordano Portrait

Works well with

What Makes Our Pocket Squares So Special?

1. We use the finest mulberry silk with our silk pocket squares and linings. The quality of the fabric can be seen in the texture and the level of detail and vibrancy of the finished product. All our silks are printed in Macclesfield, England, an area renowned for silk printing for the past 200 years.
Fall of the Rebel Angels by Giordano Pocket Square Folds
2. We take the utmost care in printing our silk pocket squares and linings which results in truly remarkable levels of detail. Faces, objects and colours are sharp and well defined to give a truly stunning finish. We also take exceptional care with the colour bleed, so the print is almost as crisp on the back as it is on the front, allowing for an unlimited number of folds to a pocket square.
Fall of the Rebel Angels by Giordano
3. The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each square its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.
Fall of the Rebel Angels by Giordano Hand Rolled Edge
4. We believe that 40cm is the minimum size for a high quality pocket square. Any smaller and it will slide down inside your pocket with any movement of your jacket, while it limits the number of folds you can achieve as there is not enough volume to hold it in place. It goes without saying we would never advocate any form of pocket square holder. All our pocket squares are either 42cm x 42cm or 40cm x 40cm.

Fall of the Rebel Angels by Giordano

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