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Saint Michael and the Devil

Light wood sculpture of angel with shield looking towards devil at feet.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Light wood sculpture of angel with shield looking towards devil at feet.





About this artwork

Saint Michael was one of the seven archangels of God in the Old Testament, and he led the heavenly host against God’s enemies in the book of Revelation. This sculpture represents Michael’s battle against Satan, who lies at his feet, pierced by the saint’s lance. This subject would inevitably have been associated with the hope of salvation, since Saint Michael was often depicted weighing the souls of the blessed and the damned in images of the Last Judgment. This wood sculpture is a powerful example of the influence of trends from northern Europe on the art of Spain in the second half of the fifteenth century through the importation of works of art and craftsmen. The angular, dancing rhythm of the saint’s pose and the tight, graphic quality of the details of his shield, hair, and wings may reflect sources in northern European prints, such as the engravings of Master E. S. These elements would originally have been enhanced by a painted and gilded surface, which at some point was stripped away.


On View, Gallery 237


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Saint Michael and the Devil


Seville (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Poplar, formerly polychromed and gilded


52.4 × 22.9 × 21.3 cm (20 5/8 × 9 × 8 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Chester D. Tripp Endowment

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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