Saint Michael


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305

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.

Saint Michael, Limestone, traces of paint & gilding, French

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