Ron Mueck’s Angel, made in 1997, is a small naked figure with an impressive pair of feathered wings. Seated on a stool he strikes a thoughtful and slightly melancholy pose. The scale of the figure is less incongruous than other Mueck sculptures, as it is perhaps easier to accept the apparent miniaturisation of a figure purporting to come from another world.
Angel‘ has an unexpected source: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s Allegory with Venus and Time from the National Gallery.
Tiepolo’s representation of Time inspired Mueck to make his own winged character. Other subjects he addressed in the late ’90’s include self-portraiture, birth and ageing: all timeless and traditional themes. These links between Mueck’s work and the art of the past prompted the National Gallery to approach to become its fifth Associate Artist.