"Angelo della Pace" an original oil painting by Matthew Holden Bates


Angelo della Pace

Oil on Canvas - 60cm x 80cm - ©2003, Matthew Bates, All Rights Reserved


Sometimes it is a good idea to look back, to remember who we were. Back in 2003, when we were gearing up to invade Iraq, and start all of the madness, I was pissed. I though to my young self, "what can I do about it?". My first thought was PROTEST, but that never works. Then I remembered that I was an artist, and that I should make my statement on canvas. 

At that time, all of Florence, and most of Italy was as pissed off as I was, and the protest became peaceful. 300,000 Florentines decided to fly the Bandiera della Pace, from their balconies, from their windows, everywhere you looked it mas magnificent! For once a flag that does not exclude anyone, a new way of thinking about the world.

So, I came up with this design, I went to a cemetery and found an angel (over the tomb of an army general) and I placed the flag over the angel. On the pedestal I wrote the word "PACE" which is Peace in Italian. The crumbling pedestal symbolizes the old worn out idea of peace, represented by the praying angel, hoping for the best, but getting no results. By placing the flag on top of the statue I was offering a new hope, a new way of thinking about peace. 

Now in 2017, more than 14 years on, my painting is calling to me more than ever. I don't know about you, but my vision of the future was not a dystopian nightmare where tragedy has been numbed out of our souls to the point where all we can do is stare at our phones because to hold your head up would be an act of courage.

So, once again I would like to share my painting:

"Angelo della Pace" 

May it bring you some hope that we can change the world, we can bring change into our hearts and souls. That we can care again, like we did back then.

Matthew Bates 
Firenze, October 21, 2017



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©2003, Matthew Holden Bates, Firenze, Italia, All Rights Reserved


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"The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul." Wassily Kandinsky"

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