Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saint Michael the Archangel

Ignacio de Ries (Spanish, 1616–after 1665)
Oil on canvas
64 3/4 x 43 1/4 in. (164.5 x 109.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889
Accession Number:
Not on view
Ries was the son of a Flemish painter who had settled in Seville. In the mid-1630s he worked for Zurbarán, some of whose paintings are displayed in this gallery and to whom this picture was long attributed. Now recognized as one of Ries’s finest works, dating from the 1640s, this painting relates to both Flemish and Italian traditions. The open-mouthed figure of Satan "cast out [of heaven] into the earth" (Rev. 12:9) especially recalls the work of Ribera.
[Bensusan, Cadiz, by 1887; sold to Marquand]; Henry G. Marquand, New York (by 1889)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Exhibition of 1888–89," 1888–89, no. 37 (as "St. Michael and the Devil," by Zurbarán).

Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Spanish Painting," January 11–February 6, 1952, no. 1.

London. McIntosh Memorial Gallery, University of Western Ontario. February 19–March 20, 1955, no catalogue.

Bordeaux. location unknown. "L'Age d'Or Espagnol," May 15–July 31, 1955, no catalogue.

Pensacola Art Center. "Spanish Art: Fiesta of Five Flags," April 1972, no catalogue.

Collection of Old Masters and Pictures of the English School in the New Eastern Gallery (Hand-book no. 10). New York, [1894], p. 12, no. 23, as by Zurbarán.

August L. Mayer. Geschichte der spanischen Malerei. Leipzig, 1913, p. 139, considers it an early work of Antonio del Castillo y-Saavedra.

August L. Mayer. "Zurbarán in America." Arts and Decoration 6 (March 1916), p. 221, as "St. Michael Conquering Satan"; attributes it to Zurbarán as an early work; finds a source for the composition in Raphael's "Creation" [The Vatican, Loggia], "which has so often served as a foundation for such representations".

Hugo Kehrer. Francisco de Zurbarán. Munich, 1918, pp. 106–7, 148, fig. 65, attributes the picture to Zurbarán and dates it about 1640.

August L. Mayer. Geschichte der spanischen Malerei. Leipzig, 1922, vol. 1, p. 378.

Bryson Burroughs. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Catalogue of Paintings. 6th ed. New York, 1922, p. 353, attributes it to Zurbarán.

August L. Mayer. Historia de la pintura española. Madrid, 1928, p. 357, as by Antonio del Castillo y Saavedra.

Bryson Burroughs. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Catalogue of Paintings. 9th ed. New York, 1931, pp. 333–34, attributes it to the "Spanish School" and notes that it was formerly attributed to Zurbarán.

Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, p. 236, ill., attributes it to an unknown Andalusian painter from the second half of the 17th century; notes that it "obviously derived" from the style of Zurbarán and adds that "such provincial forms and violent color, however, are much more often found in the school of Cordova, which was dependent on the School of Seville".

Martin Soria. Letter to Theodore Rousseau. May 10, 1949, attributes it to Zurbarán and dates it about 1625–26.

Martin Soria. Letter to Theodore Rousseau. April 1, 1949, rejects Angulo's date of 1660–70 and notes that our painting "conforms very precisely to Zurbarán's style in 1628–29".

Martin Soria. "Two Early Paintings by Zurbarán." Art Quarterly 14 (Autumn 1951), pp. 254, 256–58, ill., suggests it was painted by Zurbarán at Llerena in Extremadura where he was active from 1617–28, and before he established contact with Velázquez; observes in it characteristics of Zurbarán's early pictures.

Martin S. Soria. The Paintings of Zurbarán. London, 1953, pp. 7, 9, 133, no. 3, fig. 1, as "St. Michael Casting Out Lucifer"; catalogues it as an early work by Zurbarán painted about 1625–26.

Martin Soria in George Kubler and Martin Soria. Art and Architecture in Spain and Portugal and their American Dominions, 1500 to 1800. Baltimore, 1959, p. 244.

J. Valverde Madrid. "El pintor Antonio del Castillo." Boletín de la Real Academia de Córdoba (1961) [cited in Ref. Navarrete Prieto 2001, p. 78], attributes it to Antonio del Castillo.

Tiziana Frati. L'opera completa di Zurbarán. Milan, 1973, p. 117, no. 552, lists it in an appendix of "other works attributed" to Zurbarán.

José Gudiol in Julián Gállego and José Gudiol. Zurbarán, 1598–1664. New York, 1977, p. 81, no. 76, catalogues it with works probably painted between 1625 and 1630.

Enrique Valdivieso. Letter to Dulce Roman. January 13, 1997, attributes it to the little-known Sevillan painter Ignacio de Ries, a direct follower of Zurbarán; dates it about 1650–60.

Enrique Valdivieso. Zurbarán ante su centenario [1598–1998]. Valladolid, 1999, pp. 161, 164, ill., attributes it to Ignacio de Ries; notes that the figure of the angel is partly derived from an engraving after Martin de Vos.

Benito Navarrete Prieto. Ignacio de Ries. Madrid, 2001, pp. 41–42, 78, no. 8, ill. fig. 19, pp. 79–81 (color, overall and details), supports Valdivieso's [Ref. 1999] attribution of the painting to Ries and reproduces the engraving by Jerónimo Wierix that Valdivieso mentions as a source; notes that the face of the saint is similar to that of an angel accompanying Christ in "The Baptism of Christ" (Cathedral of Segovia) and observes that the plumed helmet and brooch are identical to those found in other works by Ries.

Benito Navarrete Prieto in Zurbarán. Exh. cat., Museum Kunstpalast. Düsseldorf, 2015, p. 37, fig. 1 (color).

An engraving by Jerónimo Wierix after Marten de Vos's Saint Michael the Archangel (Iglesia de San Miguel, Córdoba) may have been a source for this painting. The composition is also closely related to Guido Reni's painting of the subject in S. Maria della Concezione, Rome.
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