La Garde des anges belongs to several works in Vieira da Silva’s oeuvre that incorporate spiritual symbolism. Though the artist has asserted that she was not religious, she painted a number of compositions that incorporate spiritual scenery, as is the case in the present work and La chapelle gothique, currently in the Kunstmuseum Basel Collection. These two works, painted only a year apart, balance muted swaths of steel blue, beige and grey with strongly placed horizontal and vertical beams of black. The blocks of color multiply outward from a central rectangle, opening up and growing exponentially larger on the left of the canvas. La Garde des anges has been included in several exhibitions at major international art institutions including the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam and the Museé National d'Art Moderne, Paris. The spiritual character in La Garde des anges represents a search for meaning in the aftermath of World War II.
Private Collection, Switzerland Galerie Pierre, Paris Private Collection, Lisbon
Grenoble, Musée de peinture et de sculpture, Vieira da Silva, 1964, no. 26 Paris, Museé National d'Art Moderne, Vieira da Silva, peintures 1935-1969, 1969, no. 20, illustrated p. 31 Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Vieira da Silva, Schilderijen 1935-1969, 1969-70, no. 16, illustrated Oslo, Kunstnernes Hus, Vieira da Silva, Malerier 1935-1969, 1970, no. 16 Basel, Kunsthalle, Vieira da Silva, 1970, no. 16 Lisbon, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Vieira da Silva, 1970, no. 64, illustrated p. 95 Paris, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Quinte-Essence air water earth fire ether, from Primitiv Arts to today, 2015 Paris, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Dialogue IX, 2016 Ornans, Musée Gustave Courbet, Histoire d’Ateliers, 2017 Paris, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Compagnons de Route, 2019 Paris, Jeanne Bucher Jaeger; London, Waddington Custot and New York, Di Donna Galleries, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, 2019-20, illustrated in color pp. 58-59
G. Weelen, Vieira da SIlva, 1960, no. 4, illustrated L. Kochnitzy, 'Marie Hélène Vieira da Silva' in Quadrum, 1961, no. 12, illustrated p. 56 (mentioned p. 57) H. Galy-Carles, 'Vieira da Silva, période 1931-1951. Analyse, évolution' in Colóquio, 1970, no. 58 (mentioned p. 29)
M. Lassaigne and M. Weelen, Vieira da Silva, Barcelona and Paris, 1978, no. 181, illustrated
M. Lassaigne and M. Weelen, Vieira da Silva, Paris, 1987, no. 181, illustrated
G. Weelen and J.-F. Jaeger, Vieira da Silva: Catalogue Raisonné, Geneva, 1994, no. 720, illustrated p. 141