I painted Raphael as a Seraphim, the highest Choir of Angels in Christianity. The usual interpretation of Christian angels involves white wings and robes, with trumpets or harps. The bible describes something far more interesting; multiple wings, eyeballs, different faces and heads, animal features, wheels- the descriptions are varied and extremely unusual – even by most angel standards.
Raphael is an Archangel, one of the Big Three (Michael, Raphael and Gabriel). in Christian folklore Raphael was shown as a traveller with a lantern or a staff. He is considered to have strong healing powers and cured Tobit of his blindness and has been the patron angel of Healers since. with that in mind I chose an interpretation where he sees through the eyes on his wings, but his human eyes are blind and blindfolded. he sees all and nothing by the light he provides. the light on his staff is not for him, it’s for his followers.
The Big Three archangels in this series are all mentioned in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Raphael is mentioned in the book of Enoch as the binder of Azazel and in Islamic Hadiths as the one that will blow the trumpet to signal the end of days.
From my Website
A few notes on the creation of this piece. as christian angels are not described as having gender or sexual organs I kept Raphael as androgynous as possible. for me this meant using Genesis without any morphs or gender settings. that’s right, genesis out of the Box! I used a very plain skin – Bree, the one that comes with Victoria 5 and Duke Hair – both of which are quite gender neutral. I used my old blindfold (which you can’t seem to buy anymore-sorry!) and the same Malaik wings that I used a lot in this series. the eyes on the wings were separated from genesis and textured then saved as OBJs allowing me to move them about where I wanted. I used the lantern from Kay’s Lair. the Wings were deformed to give them the lovely curve and the flame was set as a light source in reality to give that luminescent glow. his back is to the light as he aims his blind eyes and lantern to the darkness.
This is one of my favorite renders and one of my favorite paintings from this series. I love both for completely different reasons.