Marlene Dumas’ painting, made in 2012, shows children in white aprons. At the centre is their teacher, a severe woman in a long black dress. The scene is set in Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan, which was previously a school and orphanage. During her long stay in Milan, Marlene Dumas spent hours at the ex-orphanage’s archive looking at old photographs taken at the institute. She was particularly struck by one photo and decided to copy it in this work. In Angels in Uniform, the classic school-group photo becomes a statement of nostalgia and melancholy: the children’s faces are anxious due to their story, and thanks to the artist, they succeed in transmitting the same turmoil to the viewer.