Saint Michael


On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 20

The warrior-archangel Michael, clad in intricately carved and painted armor, treads on a dragon, a symbol of the devil. In his left hand, he carried scales, symbolic of the Last Judgment, to which he summoned earthly souls. Michael’s right hand once held a lance, and his wings have been lost. The forward-bending pose and foreshortening indicate that the figure was made to be positioned at a considerable height, perhaps above or flanking the central shrine of a large retable.

Saint Michael, Wood, paint, and gilding, Spanish

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