Dimensions: Height 995mm, Width 775mm, Depth 89.4mm

Keywords: Evelyn De Morgan, allegorical painting, Spiritualism, Christ, The Light of Men, Biblical reference, Angel, wings, rainbow, blind to the light

Dates: 1906

Marks / Inscriptions: Signature, painted, lower left: "EDeM 1906"


The title comes from the Latin Gospel of St John, which refers to Christ as the light of men: “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.

The angelic central figure of the painting sits amongst light and rainbows, looking down with an expression of pity and lifting her hand in a blessing. Inches away are three bowed figures, wearing shackles and hiding their faces from the light. The light shines upon them and touches them, but they do not look up to see the messenger. They are prisoners of their own fears and doubts.
The angelic spirit is so close to them: all they have to do is to lift their heads and they will see the light, but they cower away, one even covering her ears, so that she cannot hear the message.
The painting suggests that if Humanity will but lift their heads and look, uncover their ears and listen, they will see and hear the message of Christ amongst them.
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Object Location: Loan - Wightwick Manor