We don't know his name, but the face is familiar...He had, no doubt, blonde hair, with a bit of wave and a prominent widow's peak. His cheekbones were high and broad, his jawline was square, and his blue eyes, with high-arched eyebrows, had pupils that were exactly above the corners of his mouth. He was beautiful, the way a woman is beautiful, and although he was undoubtedly connected with a monastery somewhere in the 600's, his progeny yet remains. Because his image is associated with St. Matthew, he's been tentatively called "Matthew", and his face is one of the most copied faces in the history of art. Still unfamiliar? His (some generations removed) sons (apparently genetically) are called Michael C. Hall, Kiefer Sutherland, Jesse Spencer and of course, the fellow who pointed this out, Sting.

We owe knowlege of his existence to Gospel Books of the North Sea Area of the 6th-8th centuries, including the Book of Kells, which, according to tradition, had heading pages depicting the Four Holy Creatures of Ezekiel: a recording angel, a lion, an eagle, and an ox. Although few monks in Ireland had seen a lion, or an eagle, they'd certainly seen an ox, and of course, it was easy to observe a Recording Angel: just look over the scriptorium aisle to that cute fellow taking his novitiate. Apparently, there was one (or several) such, because his image just kept getting copied, and copied...throughout the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, and then...
He must have been at least bisexual, because of his progeny. There just weren't that many people around at that point to have more than a few individuals that looked like that. It's just that that face became the by-default Face of an Angel until the Black Death, when the idea of angels-as-innocent-souls-and-therefore-babies took hold. At about the same time, we got pretty-but-sexless angels until we got Pretty Female Angels (since the former were just too Popish) which became the sliding slope until we got the Emma Thompson-like Christmas Angel which became the Victoria's Secret Angel, who is neither Victorian (Victorian foundation garments were kind of dowdy) nor especially Secret, nor really Angelic in the terms of Spirit triumphing over Flesh, unless you mean that the model hasn't had a good meal in quite some time.

I'm quite glad to see him back.

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