Giambattista Piazzetta
A Guardian Angel with St. Anthony of Padua and St. Louis Bertrand

Circa 1730
Church of San Stefano, Venice

Dominating the composition, an angel gestures to St. Anthony of Padua (identified by his lily stalk and book) and St. Louis Bertrand (in black cassock and white surplice). The boy on the angel's left is from the iconography of guardian angels, guided by an angel as he passes along dangerous terrain in ragged clothing. The angel has the flowing garments also characteristic of guardian angels; but, unusually, a pouch hangs from his neck. The name of the archangel Raphael means "God has healed" or "God's medicine," so the pouch could be for medicaments. Raphael taught Tobias to prepare such medicaments in Tobias 6:2-9. This would not be the only instance of artists combining the iconography of St. Raphael with that of guardian angels: see my remarks on this subject in the essay on guardian angels.

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.