Lailah, Angel of Conception

 

This is my painting of Lailah, Angel of Conception, Angel of Night, oil on canvas over panel, 36 x 24 in. currently at Vashon Center for the Arts Gallery on Vashon Island WA.

Angels are typically considered genderless, but Lailah is described as feminine in Midrash (commentary on Hebrew scriptures, attached to biblical text). In this tradition, she teaches the unborn spirt the Torah before birth and provides each a candle so that it can see its path in the world to come. In the moment that the spirt is born to this world, Lailah blows out the candle and strikes the child’s upper lip, causing the new babe to forget everything, but leaving the indention we all have above our upper lips. This is said to be the physical reminder of original knowledge and prompt to unlearn our way back to God.


I was unfamiliar with this story until researching angel mythology, but it called to mind that experience we all have, at least while young, of knowing something rather than learning something. A gift that might be explained genetically or spiritually, your innate gift.

Lailah is just one of my new works about Angel Mythology on canvas and on paper exhibiting in the Notable Collection at Vashon Center for the Arts. Click on Notable Collection for a fly through of the show.  All work is available online through July at Vashon Center for the Arts Gallery.

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