symbols in the wounded angel
At the time of painting this, Hugo Simberg was suffering from meningitis, a disease that causes inflammation around the spinal cord and brain. Although Hugo didn't actually give a proper explanation to what the painting was supposed to represent, people have come to the conclusion that the angel represents him suffering from his meningitis. Since meningitis attacks the spinal cord, it is known to cause neck stiffness and light sensitivity, and those symptoms can be shown through the angel. The angel has bandages over her eyes which blocks out the sunlight, and her posture shows a tense feeling around her neck and back area, as it is bent. The wings are also thought to represent another problem of his, tubercular meningitis, which causes problems with his lungs. The wings look beaten and scarred, which can represent his lungs.