Abbott Handerson Thayer ~ Angel ~ 1889

Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849 – 1921) was an American artist. Thayer is often claimed to have been a naturalist but this classification is misleading. He is best known for his angel paintings which reflect the spirit of the Pre-Raphealites. Granted, his spontaneity and improvisation of his artistic methods was very different than the technique of Pre-Raphealites. He began to paint winged in the late 1880s to express the transcendent qualities he saw in the female subject, he said:

“Doubtless my lifelong passion for birds has helped to incline me to work wings into my pictures; but primarily I have put on wings probably more to symbolize an exalted atmosphere (above the realm of genre painting) where one need not explain the action of the figures.”

Abbott Handerson Thayer ~ Boy and Angel ~ 1918

Abbott Handerson Thayer ~ Angel

Abbott Handerson Thayer ~ Caritas ~ 1895