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Saint Michael

Date:
ca. 1475
Geography:
Made in Touraine, French
Culture:
French
Medium:
Limestone, traces of paint & gilding
Dimensions:
Overall: 33 1/2 x 17 7/8 x 12 in. (85.1 x 45.4 x 30.5 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture-Stone
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.751
  • Description

    Saint Michael, the warrior archangel of Heaven, is portrayed battling the devil in the guise of a dragon. Swiveling to spear the serpentine foe, the saint is clad in a suit of mail covered by a cuirass of plate armor. The tip of his now-broken weapon remains visible in the dragon's gaping mouth. The dragon fights back by curling his tentacle-like tail around St. Michael's leg reflecting medieval belief that dragons kill their prey by squeezing them to death. This highly accomplished sculpture, with its exquisite detail, fine modeling, and adroitly twisting pose, may well have been a noble commission.

  • Provenance

    Émile Molinier, Paris; Georges Hoentschel (French, Paris 1855–1915 Paris); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
464613:3

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