Saint Michael Presenting a Donor to Christ as Salvator Mundi
Southern Netherlands Bruges (?)
Southern Netherlands, probably Bruges
Tempera and gold leaf on parchment
6 5/8 x 3 7/8 in. (16.8 x 9.9 cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Not on view
This miniature from an unidentified manuscript is stylistically comparable to a group of works thought to have been produced in Bruges in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. While the depiction of Christ as "Salvator Mundi" (Savior of the World) was popular in parts of the Netherlands at the time, the presence of Saint Michael and a donor in this leaf—alluding to the Last Judgment—evidently is unique. The palette and the arrangement of figures are carefully calibrated: Saint Michael’s bright red shield plays a pivotal role, protecting the donor from the toothy jaws of the dragon, establishing his position in the background, and underscoring his suppliant status before Christ.
Inscription: Inscribed on the book: "Ego su[m] via: veritas et vita"; on the banderole: "miserere mei deus secundum magnam m[isericord]iam tua[m]
[Les Frères Kalebdjian, Paris (no. 942)]. Acquired by Robert Lehman from Kalebdjian in 1924.
Sandra Hindman, Chicago, Mirella Levi D'Ancona, Pia Palladino, and Maria Francesca Saffiotti. "Illuminations." Robert Lehman Collection. IV, New York, 1997.