Gabriel Archangel pointing to Heaven

Arcangelo Gabriele che indica il cielo
Located on the north-west spire, this angel lifts up both his eyes and finger to heaven. If the entire composition of the spires were a triumphal procession with Mary, then he would walk a few steps before the Blessed Virgin, indicating the One from whom this glory issued. If it is an angel associated with the Madonna, then it is Gabriel, the “Fortress of God”, the messenger to whom the Lord entrusts the most delicate missions. We find many written references to him, from the Old Testament to the Talmud, in the New Testament, in the apocryphal gospels, and even in the pages of the Coran. No angel has been more fortunate than him. Moreover, anghelos is a Greek word that means “messenger”, and this makes Gabriel the angel par excellence. Gabriel is not only the messenger, but also the celestial scribe, he who reveals prophetic dreams and who heads the angels who watch over the Seventy Nations, precisely the seventy peoples descending from Noah. Gabriel is, therefore, the representative of a world made up of various beliefs, religions, mysticisms or simple stories. He is widely acknowledged as the angel of messages, he who announces precious information. Gabriele shows us heaven, the farthest horizon our gaze can reach, and he shows us his large wings, a device to take flight, reminding us that anyone can make a mistake but can bring us back to earth only for a short period. The statue of Archangel Gabriel is a recent reproduction of 2017 by Nicola Gagliardi, based on the scale model of the later 1800s by sculptor Giacomo Sozzi. Stylistically it is a figure that looks different to many statues present on the spires. It is certainly less classicas in terms of shape, quite unlike the ideal models of beauty and harmony typical of the 1800s. But it is common knowledge that the Duomo’s works of art are also evidence of time passing in the construction site, a trace of the many workers who have been the protagonists of the Monument with its centuries long history.