This painting - and variants of it - must be one of the most famous, even iconic images involving an angel. certainly I have seen it on countless Christmas cards over the years, and know someone who had not one, but two copies of it hanging in their home.
Fra Angelico was beatttified by Pope John Paul II, and made patron of Catholic Artists. I am sure this tender portrayal of Mary and the angel was influential in that decision.
It seems Fra Angelico was a mendicant Dominican friar, who employed his skills as an artist overtly as Christian service.
Does this image differ, in some way from those painted by people whose work is not informed by Christian faith? If so, how?
How does our Christian faith inform our own work, in whatever sphere that may be?
Perhaps also images such as this, purloined by greeting card manufacturers give us pause for thought about the cards we select, and the underlying reasons. There isn't a 'right' or 'wrong' answer; overtly Christian images are not inherently 'better' than robins or reindeer, snowfolk or anything.
Creative God, thank you for own unique gifts, whatever they may be.
Help us to recognise how we serve you in the everyday,
And how, through us, you bless others.
At this season of sending and receiving greetings cards,
May we enjoy the choices of others for us,
And may we aso choose thoguhtfully those we send.