The White Angel

One of the most beautiful and renown works of Serbian mediaeval art is a fresco painting The White Angel, depicting an angel, sitting on an empty tomb of resurrected Jesus. Messengers of God – angels are invisible spiritual beings and are immortal. They possess reason and free will. It is a depiction of a scene from the Gospel, when on the third day, the women, bearers of the Holy Oil (for anointing the dead) come to the Christ’s grave just to find it empty. They meet an angel who asks them why they are seeking the living among the dead. The question is the first sign of Jesus’ Resurrection.


The word angel comes from a Greek word angelos, meaning an intermediary , a messenger of God’s will.


In the Orthodox Christian art, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is depicted in two ways: as Jesus’ descent to the underworld and as women bearing the Holy Oil come to His grave.


Mileševa Monastery near Prijepolje. The fresco is in the altar area.


Mileševa Monastery is an endowment of king Vladislav, son to Stefan the First-Crowned, the St Sava’s nephew. The monastery was built in the 13th century and its frescoes are the masterpieces of Serbian art. Mileševa also keeps the most famous portrait of St Sava with his blue eyes.