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Pedro García de Benabarre - Saint Michael Archangel, about 1470

Pedro García de Benabarre (active Catalonia, 1455 - 1480)

Saint Michael Archangel, about 1470

Tempera and gold on panel , 184 x 144 cm (72 7/16 x 56 11/16 in.)


The archangel Michael, wearing a suit of studded armor, sits on a throne backed by an elaborate blue and gold brocade. In this painting, Michael simultaneously enacts his two principal roles: weigher of souls on Judgment Day and destroyer of Satan. On the left an angel embraces a soul, while on the right, Satan appears as a fantastic two-faced monster ready to capture another
soul. Michael positions his lance over the monster. This painting was originally a side panel of a large altarpiece dedicated to John the Baptist, installed in the church of Sant Joan del Mercat in Lleida, Catalonia.

Source: Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 155.