Object Image

Saint Michael

This panel of the Archangel Michael fighting the Devil was once part of an altarpiece painted by Crivelli for the church of San Domenico in Ascoli Piceno in the Italian Marche. Michael is shown as a youthful prince, his sword raised with nonchalant ease to strike the writhing devil beneath his feet. At once refined and ferocious, Michael's pale aristocratic beauty and glittering armour make a vivid contrast to the scaly skin, furred legs and vicious talons of the demon below him.

Showing off his talent for foreshortening - distorting objects to make them appear to recede into the picture plane - Crivelli shows us the top of Michael's and Satan's heads, as they gaze at each other in eternal com...

c. 1476
Tempera on poplar
90.5 x 26.5cm
Image and text © The National Gallery, London, 2023

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