Sunday, August 7, 2016

44 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Paintings from the Bible, with footnotes. Saint Michael, Archangel, and Chief Commander, 22

The Sacred Scriptures have revealed the proper names of only three Angels, all of whom belong to the Choir of the Archangels. The names are well known to all, namely: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

Spinello Aretino, 1345-52; died 1410
Saint Michael and Other Angels, c. 1408-10
Arezzo Fresco Fragments
Fresco (with areas of secco) transferred to canvas
116.2 x 170.2 cm
The National Gallery, London

This and other fragments in the Collection are from a large fresco of the 'Fall of Lucifer' which was painted for S. Michele Arcangelo in Arezzo, Italy. The scene shows Saint Michael and other angels fighting a war in heaven. The battle took place before God who was originally shown enthroned above, while Lucifer's agents plunge to earth below. More

Spinello Aretino, (born c. 1346, Commune of Arezzo — died March 14, 1410, Arezzo) late Gothic Italian painter noteworthy for his vigorous narrative sense. His style anticipates the realistic painting of the early Renaissance of the 15th century. Early in his career he came under the influence of Orcagna and Nardo di Cione, whose style shows in his first major work, a fresco cycle in San Francesco at Arezzo.

A facile artist, Spinello soon gained a reputation beyond his native town. Further commissions followed, and between 1404 and his death he seems to have divided his time between Arezzo and Siena, where he undertook work (lost) for the cathedral and painted (1407–10) a cycle of fresco scenes from the life of Pope Alexander III in the Palazzo Pubblico. These and the Pisa frescoes constitute his most important works. More

In the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, the archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel are also referred to as saints. In Islam, Gabriel is considered an archangel whom God is believed to have sent with revelation to various prophets, including Muhammad. The 96th chapter of the Quran, The Clot, is believed by Muslims to have been the first chapter revealed by Gabriel to Muhammad. More

The Scriptural passages gives to St. Michael four offices:
  1. To fight against Satan.
  2. To rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death.
  3. To be the champion of God's people, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages.
  4. To call away from earth and bring men's souls to judgment
Master of Mileseva
Fresco in the church of Mileseva, c. 1235
Church of Mileseva, Serbia

To be the champion of God's people

Francesco Botticini (1446–1497)
The Three Archangels and Tobias, c. 1470
Left Angel: Michael, Middle angels: Raphael, Young: Tobias
Right angel Gabriel, 
Tempera on panel
135 × 154 cm (53.1 × 60.6 in)
Uffizi Gallery

According to the story, Tobias was the only child of a blind holy man named Tobit and his wife, Anna, who were Jews from Nineveh circa 700 BC.  Tobit sent his young son Tobias on an errand to a distant land to collect monies that were owed to him. As he started on his journey Tobias was met by the angle, Raphael, disguised as a man named Azarias.  

Filippino Lippi, 1457-1504
The Three Archangels and Tobias, c. 1485
Oil on panel
100 cm × 127 cm (39 in × 50 in)
Galleria Sabauda, Turin

On the background of a rocky landscape, resembling that of the London Adoration of the Magi, the picture represents the three archangels: Michael on the left, Raphael in the centre, and Gabriel holding a lily, together with a young Tobias, son of Tobit. The scene is clearly inspired to a Voyage of Tobias by Botticini, once in the Florentine church of Florence and now at the Uffizi, while the angels resemble those painted by Filippino himself in the Liberation of St. Peter in the Brancacci Chapel.

The work was once attributed to Sandro Botticelli or his workshop.

Filippino Lippi, (born c. 1457, Prato, Republic of Florence—died April 18, 1504, Florence) early Renaissance painter of the Florentine school whose works influenced the Tuscan Mannerists of the 16th century. After his father’s death, Filippino entered the workshop of Botticelli. By 1473 he had finished his apprenticeship. The style of Filippino’s earliest works stems from that of Botticelli, but Filippino’s use of line is less sensitive and subtle than Botticelli’s. In a group of paintings executed about 1480–85 he developed a harder and more individual style. Among the most notable works of this period is the Journey of Tobias (above). He was employed, along with Botticelli, Perugino, and Domenico Ghirlandaio, on the frescoed decoration of Lorenzo de’ Medici’s villa at Spedaletto and at the end of 1482 was commissioned to complete work left unfinished by Perugino in the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence. No trace of either work survives. Soon after (probably 1483–84) he was entrusted with the completion of the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel in the Carmine, which had been left unfinished on Masaccio’s death in 1428.

After his return from Rome, Filippino executed a fresco of the Death of Laocoön for the villa of Lorenzo de’ Medici at Poggio a Caiano, in which some of the decorative devices used in the Carafa Chapel are again employed, and resumed work in the Strozzi Chapel (completed 1502), the frescoes of which anticipate Tuscan Mannerism of the 16th century. More

Tobias and the angel started on their way. They stopped the first night by the River Tigris and as Tobias went to wash his feet a monstrous fish came up and tired to devour him.  Tobias wrestled with the fish and managed to haul it out onto the dry land. The angel told Tobias to cut out the heart, gall and liver and save them as they were powerful medicines.

Workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio (1436–1488)
Tobias and the Angel, c. 1470 until 1475
Egg tempera on poplar wood
83.6 × 66 cm (32.9 × 26 in)
National Gallery

Andrea del Verrocchio (1436–1488), see note 2, bottom

Tobias and the angel arrived at the house of a kinsman named Raguel who had a daughter named Sara, his only child. Sara had been married seven times and all seven husbands had been killed by a devil. The angel Raphael told Tobias that he should married Sara. Tobias, was a little hesitant to marry Sara, but the angel told him to place the heart of the fish over the fire and that this smoke would kill the devil. 

Domenico Di Michelino, (1417 - 91)
Tobias and the Three Archangels
Tempera on panel
Galleria dell' Accademia, Florence, 
Domenico Di Michelino, (1417 - 91), see note 3, bottom

Sara and Tobias married and spent some time with her family before returning to his parents. Sara’s father, Raguel sent them on their way.

Tobias and Sara returned to Tobit and Anna. Tobias anointed his father’s eyes with the gall of the fish and Tobit’s sight was restored.

Girolamo Savoldo (c. 1480-1485 – after 1548) 
Tobias and the Angel, c. 1540
Oil on canvas, 96 x 124 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

Girolamo Savoldo (c. 1480-1485 – after 1548), see note 1, bottom

Tobit and Tobias discussed what wages to give Ararias. When They approached Azarias to tell him that they wanted to give him half of what they have Azarias revels himself as the angel, Raphael, and explained that he had been sent by God because Tobit has been such a holy man.

In paintings Tobias is generally depicted carrying a fish and accompanied by his small dog and the angel, Raphael. More

Francesco Botticini, (1446  - Death: 1498). The artist was born Francesco di Giovanni Botticini. His father painted playing cards as an artisan, influencing his son to work independently after his brief training. His studies were under the prolific painter Neri di Bicci (1419 – 1492) for one year. Botticini also studied under another of Bicci’s pupils, Cosimo Rosselli (1439 – 1507) and also with the influential Andrea del Verrocchio (1435 – 1488). His 1470 piece, The Three Archangels (above), now in the Uffizi Gallery, was once thought to be Verrocchio’s.

As exampled by his works in the cloistered church in Empoli, Botticini painted in a highly decorative style. Operating his own workshop by 1469, his decorative style was praised much, but still overshadowed by contemporaries such as Filippo Lippi (1457 – 1504) and Sandro Botticelli (1444 – 1510). More

Anonymous Byzantine painter (395-1453 AD)
Michael the Archangel
13th-century Byzantine icon
The Monastery of St. Catherine, Sinai

Jaime Huguet, 1412–1492
Michael the Archangel, 1456
Tempera on panel
213 x 136 cm
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona

The painting belongs to an altarpiece of Sts Michael and Stephen, originally in the church Santa Maria del Pi in Barcelona.

Jaume Huguet 1412–1492, was a Catalan painter. Originally from Valls, he moved to Tarragona to stay with his uncle Pere Huguet, who was also a painter. When they moved to Barcelona he was exposed to modern trends of the time. Between 1440 and 1445 he worked in Zaragoza and later in Tarragona, where he was influenced by the Flemish style of Luis Dalmau.

A number of works by Huguet, including The Consecration of Saint Augustine, are held in the collection of the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. More

Piero della Francesca, 1415/20 - 1492
Saint Michael, c. 1469
Oil on poplar
133 x 59.5 cm
The National Gallery, London

Piero della Francesca (1415 – 1492) was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. As testified by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, to contemporaries he was also known as a mathematician and geometer. Nowadays Piero della Francesca is chiefly appreciated for his art. His painting was characterized by its serene humanism, its use of geometric forms and perspective. His most famous work is the cycle of frescoes The History of the True Cross in the church of San Francesco in the Tuscan town of Arezzo. More

 Carlo Crivelli
Saint Michael, about 1476
Tempera on poplar
90.5 x 26.5 cm
The National Gallery, London

This painting is part of the group: Four Panels from an Altarpiece, Ascoli Piceno

Carlo Crivelli ( Venice 1430? – Ascoli Piceno 1495) was an Italian Renaissance painter of conservative Late Gothic decorative sensibility,[1] who spent his early years in the Veneto, where he absorbed influences from the Vivarini, Squarcione and Mantegna. He left the Veneto by 1458 and spent most of the remainder of his career in the March of Ancona, where he developed a distinctive personal style that contrasts with that of his Venetian contemporary Giovanni Bellini. More

To fight against Satan

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)
The Great Battlec. 1562

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)
Fighting the Rebels, c. 1562
Height: 162 cm (63.8 in). Width: 117 cm (46.1 in).
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)
The Archangel Michael
Height: 162 cm (63.8 in). Width: 117 cm (46.1 in).
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)
The Fall of the Rebel Angels, c. 1562
Height: 162 cm (63.8 in). Width: 117 cm (46.1 in).
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)
The Fallen Angels, c. 1562
Height: 162 cm (63.8 in). Width: 117 cm (46.1 in).
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Painted in 1562, Bruegel's depiction of this subject is taken from a passage from the Book of Revelation (12, 2-9)[2] and reveals the artist's profound debt to Hieronymous Bosch, especially in the grotesque figures of the fallen angels, shown as half-human, half-animal monsters. Together with Dulle Griet and The Triumph of Death, which have similar dimensions, it was probably painted for the same collector and destined to become part of a series. More

Pieter Bruegel (c. 1525 – 9 September 1569) was a Netherlandish Renaissance painter and printmaker from Brabant, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes. He is sometimes referred to as the "Peasant Bruegel". From 1559, he dropped the 'h' from his name and signed his paintings as Bruegel.

Bruegel was born in a "village near Breda", the town of Breugel. His master, according to van Mander, was the Antwerp painter Pieter Coecke van Aelst. In 1551 Bruegel became a free master in the Guild of Saint Luke of Antwerp. In 1552 Bruegel was assigned to paint the rear of two wings of a triptych in Mechelen. Between 1552 and 1553 Bruegel traveled to Italy. He visited Rome, where he met the miniaturist Giulio Clovio, whose will of 1578 lists three paintings by Bruegel. These works, apparently landscapes, have not survived. About 1555 Bruegel returned to Antwerp by way of the Alps, which resulted in a number of exquisite drawings of mountain landscapes. 

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)
A Good Angel, c. 1562
Height: 162 cm (63.8 in). Width: 117 cm (46.1 in).
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

He received the nickname "Peasant Bruegel" or "Bruegel the Peasant" for his practice of dressing up like a peasant in order to socialize at weddings and other celebrations, thereby gaining inspiration and authentic details for his genre paintings. He died in Brussels on 9 September 1569 and was buried in the Kapellekerk. More

At the great battle in Heaven, when the angels under Lucifer revolt against God, Michael, leads the faithful angels, defeats the hosts of evil and drives them out. In this role he has been painted by many artists. Because of this victory, St. Michael is revered in Catholic tradition and liturgy as the protector of the Church, as once he was regarded as the protector of the Israelites. In the Eastern Church, as well as among many theologians in the West, St Michael is placed over all the angels, as prince of the Seraphim.

Francesco Maffei
The Archangel Michael overthrowing Lucifer, ca. 1656
Oil on stone 
80 x 75 cm
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, on deposit with the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)

Francesco Maffei (1605 – 2 July 1660) was an Italian painter, active in the Baroque style. He probably trained in his birthplace of Vicenza with his father, and painted mostly in the towns of the Veneto. He died in Padua.

He is noted for his somewhat provincial stylistic quirks, combining the decorative manner of baroque with visual distortions and nervous brush strokes. His figures often glimmer with imprecise borders; a style which would characterize also the pittura de tocco e di macchia for decades. 

His canvases are often crowded with people and vigorous action. He was trained under the Mannerist painter, Alessandro Maganza, yet was influenced by a variety of painters. He is known to have traveled briefly to Venice in 1638, where he would have encountered the then brash new baroque painterly style. Maffei left Vicenza in 1657 and settled in Padua, where he died of the plague. He influenced a variety of painters, including Andrea Celesti (c1637-1711) and Antonio Bellucci (1654–1727), a mentor of Sebastiano Ricci. More

Peter Paul Rubens, (1577–1640)
St Michael expelling Lucifer and the rebellious angels from Heaven
149 x 126 cm
Oil on canvas
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Peter Paul Rubens, (1577–1640), see below

Raphael, (1483–1520)
Saint Michael Vanquishing Satan, c. 1518
Oil transferred from wood to canvas
268 × 160 cm (105.5 × 63 in)
Louvre Museum

Saint Michael Vanquishing Satan may have been painted for Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, around 1503−1505, at the same time as Saint George and the Dragon (INV. 609), with which it has always been associated.

Raphael (1483–1520)
Saint Michael Vanquishing Satan, c. 1518
In the Apocalypse of Saint John (Book of Revelation), the Archangel Michael, having overcome the rebel angels, slays the dragon, an allegorical embodiment of evil, and casts it to earth. In this depiction, Raphael enriched the scene’s traditional representation with ancillary scenes inspired by the Inferno in the Divine Comedy, in which Dante recounts the punishment of hypocrites and thieves. On the left, the hypocrites, shrouded in gilded lead cloaks, are emerging from the ground and parading before the burning city, while on the right the naked thieves are at being devoured by snakes and black birds. More
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
 Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking.
After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models. His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria, then a period of about four years (1504–1508) absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates. More

Master of Belmonte (Spanish, Aragon, active ca. 1445–90)
Saint Michael, c. 1450–1500
Tempera and oil on wood
85 1/2 x 47 in. (217.2 x 119.4 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Armed with a coat of mail, dagger, shield, and lance, the archangel Michael symbolizes the triumph over evil. The demon at his feet is the Antichrist, cast out of heaven. More
Master of Belmonte, also called Master of Monterde and Monterde Master,  1445-1490. 

Spanish (Valencian) Painter (active in Italy, early 15th century)
Saint Michael and the Dragon, 1c. 405
Tempera on wood, gold ground
41 3/8 x 40 3/4 in. (105.1 x 103.5 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This work was painted in Italy by an unknown artist whose style is indebted to the richness and refinement of Valencian art at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Saint Michael wears a brightly colored brigandine embellished with gold foliate decoration and wields a great sword with almost balletic grace against the seven-headed dragon of the Apocalypse. More

David, Gerard
Altarpiece of St Michael. c.1510
Oil on wood
66 x 53 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
DAVID, Gerard, (b. ca. 1460, Oudewater, d. 1523, Bruges), Flemish painter who was the last great master of the Bruges school.
David went to Bruges, presumably from Haarlem, where he is supposed to have formed his
early style under the instruction of Albert van Ouwater; he joined the guild of St Luke at Bruges in 1484 and became dean in 1501.

In his early work he followed the Haarlem tradition as represented by Ouwater and Geertgen tot Sint Jans but already shown evidence of his superiority as a colourist. But the works on which David's fame rests most securely are his great altarpieces. These are mature works - severe yet richly coloured, showing a masterful handling of light, volume, and space. The Judgment panels are especially notable for being among the earliest Flemish paintings to employ such Italian Renaissance devices as putti and garlands. In Antwerp David became impressed by the life and movement in the work of Quentin Massys, who had introduced a more intimate and more human conception of sacred themes. More

Bonifacio Veronese, (b. 1487, Verona, d. 1557, Venezia)
St Michael Vanquishing the Devil, c. 1530
Oil on canvas
Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

Bonifacio Veronese, (b. 1487, Verona, d. 1557, Venezia) produced animated paintings for private clients in which biblical themes were merely a pretext for depicting the banquets or musical entertainments of the Venetian nobility. He also produced religious works for churches. Even the depiction of this vigorous struggle between St Michael and the devil remains poised and harmoniously composed, although this entails some loss of expressive force.
The Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary was destroyed by fire in 1867. The restored chapel was reopened only in 1959. It is now decorated with many 16th-17th-century paintings originated from other Venetian churches and collections. Bonifacio's painting belongs to this decoration. More
Juan de Flandes (Netherlandish, active by 1496–died 1519 Palencia)
Saints Michael and Francis, ca. 1505–9
Oil on wood, gold ground
36 7/8 x 34 1/4 in. (93.7 x 87 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This panel was originally part of a large Spanish altarpiece. The artist has placed both figures within niches, but in contrast to the frontal, ascetic image of Saint Francis, who is neatly contained within the shallow space, Michael extends beyond his niche. Stabbing the dragon at his feet, the archangel gazes earthward at the apocalyptic vision—a walled, smoking city—that is reflected in his decorative shield. This latter detail still hints at Juan de Flandes’s Netherlandish origin. The introduction of a gold background and the broad painting technique, however, reveal his efforts to adapt his style to Spanish taste. More

Juan de Flandes (Netherlandish, active by 1496–died 1519 Palencia)
Saints Michael and Francis, ca. 1505–9

Saint Francis of Assisi (1181/1182 – 3 October 1226),[1][3] was an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.
In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the Order. In 1224, he received the stigmata, during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy making him the first recorded person to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion. More
Juan de Flandes ("John of Flanders"; c. 1460 – by 1519) was an Early Netherlandish painter who was active in Spain from 1496 to 1519; his actual name is unknown, although an inscription Juan Astrat on the back of one work suggests a name such as "Jan van der Straat". Jan Sallaert, who became a master in Ghent in 1480, has also been suggested.
He was born around 1460 in Flanders (modern Belgium). He evidently trained in his home country, most likely in Ghent, as his work shows similarities to other Ghent artists. He is only documented after he became an artist at the court of Queen Isabella I of Castile, where he is first mentioned in the accounts in 1496. He is described as "court painter" by 1498 and continued in the queen's service until her death in 1504. He mostly painted portraits of the royal family, but also the majority of a large series of small panels for a polyptych altarpiece for the queen. The panels have been dispersed and the largest number of panels is in the royal collection in Madrid.

Juan de Flandes (Netherlandish, active by 1496–died 1519 Palencia)
Saints Michael and Francis, ca. 1505–9
Detail, a walled, smoking city

After Isabella's death in 1504 Juan de Flandes turned to ecclesiastical commissions from Spanish churches, beginning in Salamanca in 1505–7. He was later based in Palencia, where there is a large reredos in the Cathedral. The overwhelming majority of his work, held in collections outside Spain, date from this later period during which he concentrated on religious themes.

His works show the Early Netherlandish style of Ghent adapted to the Spanish taste and landscape, notably the requirements for groups of compartmented scenes for altarpieces. His colouring is refined, "with a preference for rather acid hues", and "while his feeling for space and light is sophisticated, a tendency to divide space into a succession of thin planes becomes a mannerism in his late works". More

Luca Giordano, (1632–1705)
Archangel Michael Hurls the Rebellious Angels into the Abyss, circa 1666
Oil on canvas
419 × 283 cm (165 × 111.4 in)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The fall of the rebel angels is the greatest single theme of the Counter-Reformation. It is a theme that allowed a church in conflict to present its propaganda in the form of its struggle against all forms of heresy. At the same time, the theme of the struggling angel also symbolized the triumph of light over the rebellion of the powers of darkness - giving the painter an opportunity to create a chiaroscuro charged with meaning, in which heaven and hell, the incense of the blessed and the brimstone of the damned are contrasted in an extremely confined space, creating an arc of tension within which the knight-like angel spreads his broad wings and wields his sword in a sweeping gesture of victory.

Giordano sets the scene with relatively few figures compared to, say, Rubens' Great Last Judgment. Against a background of deep golden light, the archangel balances with an almost balletic movement on the heavy breast of Lucifer, entangled amidst a group of his servants, his angular and batlike wings cutting through the hazy sfumato of the hellfire. What appears at first glance to be so dramatic is not in fact the depiction of a struggle as such. Michael is not attacking the figures from hell with his sword, but is holding it aloft like a sign, as though his mere appearance were enough to cast Satan and his followers into eternal damnation. More

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

Born in Naples, Giordano was the son of the painter Antonio Giordano. In around 1650 he was apprenticed to Ribera, and his early work was heavily influenced by his teacher. Like Ribera, he painted many half-length figures of philosophers, either imaginary portraits of specific figures, or generic types.

Luca Giordano, (1632–1705) 
St Michael. circa 1663
Oil on canvas
Height: 198 cm (78 in). Width: 147 cm (57.9 in).
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

He acquired the nickname Luca fa presto, which translates into "Luca paints quickly." His speed, in design as well as handiwork, and his versatility, which enabled him to imitate other painters deceptively, earned for him two other epithets, "The Thunderbolt" (Fulmine) and "The Proteus" of painting.

Following a period studying in Rome, Parma and Venice, Giordano developed an elaborate Baroque style fusing Venetian and Roman Influences. His mature work combines the ornamental pomp of Paul Veronese with the lively complex schemes, the "grand manner", of Pietro da Cortona. He is also noted for his lively and showy use of colour. More

Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo, (1618 - 1682)
Saint Michael banishes the devil to the abyss, c. (1665/68)
110 x 170 cm (43,2 x 66,6 inches)
On canvas
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (born late December 1617, baptized January 1, 1618 – April 3, 1682) was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children. His lively, realist portraits of flower girls, street urchins, and beggars constitute an extensive and appealing record of the everyday life of his times. More

Guido Reni (1575–1642)
Archangel Michael, circa 1636
Oil on canvas
293 × 202 cm (115.4 × 79.5 in)
Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome

"St Michael Archangel". The Archangel Michael dressed in a late Roman military cloak and cuirass. trampling Satan.

Guido Reni (4 November 1575 – 18 August 1642) was an Italian painter of high-Baroque style. Born in Bologna into a family of musicians, Guido Reni was the son of Daniele Reni and Ginevra de’ Pozzi. As a child of nine, he was apprenticed under the Bolognese studio of Denis Calvaert. When Reni was about twenty years old he migrated to the rising rival studio, named Accademia degli Incamminati (Academy of the "newly embarked", or progressives), led by Lodovico Carracci. He went on to form the nucleus of a prolific and successful school of Bolognese painters who followed Annibale Carracci to Rome. Like many other Bolognese painters, Reni's painting was thematic and eclectic in style. More

Rubens, Peter Paul, 1577-1640
The Fall of the Angels (Michael fighting Lucifer), c. 1619/22
Oil on canvas
433 x 288cm
 Alte Pinakothek museum, Munich

Drawing after the painting Fall of the Rebel Angels by Peter Paul Rubens, ca. 1768–ca. 1775; red chalk, graphite, pen and ink.

St Michael fighting the rebel angels; the struggling rebel angels vainly attempt to resist their descent into hell as various monstrous, devilish figures grapple with them; a copy after Lucas Vorsterman who engraved after Peter Paul Rubens. after 1621 Engraving. More

Bartolomé Bermejo, 1440 - after 1495
Saint Michael triumphant over the Devil with the Donor Antonio Juan, c. 1468
Oil and gold on wood
179.7 x 81.9 cm
The National Gallery, London

The kneeling donor is Antonio Juan, Lord of Tous. He holds a psalter open at two penitential Psalms (Psalms 51 and 130). The heavy chain and sword indicate that he is a knight.

Bermejo's mastery of the Netherlandish technique of painting in oil can be seen in the modelling of the donor's head, in Saint Michael's crystal shield and in the reflections of the Heavenly City on his breastplate. More

Bartolomé Bermejo (c. 1440 – c.1501) was a Spanish painter who adopted Flemish painting techniques and conventions. Although it is unclear where Bermejo received his training, his complete mastery of the oil glaze technique suggests direct contact with 15th century Flemish painting, which he was able to adapt perfectly to the demands of Spanish altarpieces of the period: large-scale retables with many panels. Though his documented career spans over thirty years, he was peripatetic: he never settled in one place for more than a decade. Also, in a period and place where painting was a business, and work was generally negotiated by contract, there is both direct and indirect evidence that he was professionally unreliable, though apparently his outstanding talent made patrons willing to take the risk. At least three major altarpieces that he undertook, the high altar retables of Santo Domingo de Silos in Daroca and Santa Anna in Barcelona, and the triptych of the Virgin of Montserrat in Valencia, were left incomplete for others to finish.

Documentation places his activity in four cities of the Crown of Aragon: Valencia (1468), Daroca (1474), Zaragoza (1477–84) and Barcelona [1486–1501). More

Peter Paul Rubens, (1577–1640)
Fall of the Damned, c. 17th century
Oil on panel
288 × 255 cm (113.4 × 100.4 in)
Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany

Peter Paul Rubens, (1577–1640)
Fall of the Damned, c. 17th century

Study for the Fall of the Damned; sheet of studies for two groups, in the upper half, men and women pulled down by demons, the lower half represents the group immediately to the left of the former group in the painting, with two pot-bellied men and a fat woman borne down by demons. c.1614-18 Black and red chalk, watercolour and bodycolour, on two sheets. More

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.
In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. More

To call away from earth and bring men's souls to judgment
Assyrian Siege of Jerusalem
The story of the Assyrian siege is told in the Hebrew Bible books of Isaiah. As the Assyrians began their invasion, Hezekiah began preparations to protect Jerusalem. Hezekiah gathered the citizens in the square and encouraged them by reminding them that the Assyrians possessed only "an arm of flesh", but the Judeans had the protection of Yahweh.
Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
The Defeat of Sennacherib, c. 1612 and 1614
Oil on panel
98 × 123 cm (38.6 × 48.4 in)
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

While Sennacherib was besieging Lachish, he received a message from Hezekiah offering to pay tribute in exchange for Assyrian withdrawal. Hezekiah paid three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold to Assyria — a price so heavy that he was forced to empty the temple and royal treasury. Nevertheless, Sennacherib marched on Jerusalem with his large army. 

Peter Paul Rubens, (1577–1640)
The Defeat of Sennacherib, c. 1612 and 1614
The prophet Isaiah took an active part in the political life of Judah. When Jerusalem was threatened, he assured Hezekiah that the city would be delivered and Sennacherib would fall. The Hebrew Bible states that during the night, an angel of YHWH brought death to 185,000 Assyrians troops. Jerusalem was spared destruction. More

Gillis van Valckenborch, (1570–1622)
Battle scene (Defeat of Sennacherib ?), c. 1597
Oil on canvas
135 × 270 cm (53.1 × 106.3 in)
Louvre Museum

Gillis van Valckenborch (Antwerp 1570 – Frankfurt am Main, end March or 1 April 1622) was a Flemish painter and draughtsman who spent most of his career in Germany. He was a member of the van Valckenborch dynasty of painters who painted mainly landscapes. Unlike his family members, he is mainly known for his large-scale compositions with many swirling figures depicting scenes from ancient history or mythology. While his landscape drawings evidence his interest in landscape art no landscape paintings have been attributed to him. More

Gustave Dore, 1832-1883
The angel of the Lord destroys the army of Assyrians, c 1865
Berlin, Sammlung Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte

Paul Gustave Louis Christophe Doré (6 January 1832 – 23 January 1883) was a French artist, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor. Doré worked primarily with wood engraving.

Doré was born in Strasbourg on 6 January 1832. By age five, he was a prodigy troublemaker, playing pranks that were mature beyond his years. Seven years later, he began carving in cement. At the age of fifteen Doré began his career working as a caricaturist for the French paper Le Journal pour rire, and subsequently went on to win commissions to depict scenes from books by Rabelais, Balzac, Milton and Dante.

In 1853, Doré was asked to illustrate the works of Lord Byron. This commission was followed by additional work for British publishers, including a new illustrated Bible. In 1856 he produced twelve folio-size illustrations of The Legend of The Wandering Jew.

Doré's illustrations for the Bible (1866) were a great success, and in 1867 Doré had a major exhibition of his work in London. This exhibition led to the foundation of the Doré Gallery in Bond Street, London. Doré was mainly celebrated for his paintings in his day. His paintings remain world-renowned, but his woodcuts and engravings are where he really excelled as an artist with an individual vision.

Doré never married and, following the death of his father in 1849, he continued to live with his mother, illustrating books until his death in Paris following a short illness. The government of France made him a Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur in 1861. More

Jacopo Vignali, (1592–1664)
Archangel Michael reaching to save souls in purgatory
Oil on canvas
San Gaetano (Florence)

Jacopo Vignali (September 5, 1592 – August 3, 1664) was an Italian painter of the early Baroque period. Vignali was born in Pratovecchio, near Arezzo, and initially trained under Matteo Rosselli. He painted the ceiling fresco of the Love of the Fatherland and Jacob's dream for the Casa Buonarroti in Florence. In 1616 he entered the Accademia del Disegno in Florence. In the 1620s, he painted the Investiture of St Benedict for the Confraternità di San Benedetto Bianco. In 1622–23 he also contributed to fresco cycles for the Medici at the Casino Mediceo di San Marco in Florence, and at the Villa di Poggio Imperiale. Among his pupils were Domenico Bettini, Romolo Panfi, Alessandro Rosi, and Carlo Dolci. More

It was Michael who rescued Abraham from the furnace into which he had been thrown by Nimrod. It was Michael, the "one that had escaped", who told Abraham that Lot had been taken captive, and who protected Sarah from being defiled by Abimelech. He announced to Sarah that she would bear a son and he rescued Lot at the destruction of Sodom.

It is said that Michael prevented Isaac from being sacrificed by his father by substituting a ram in his place, and saved Jacob, while yet in his mother's womb, from being killed by Samael. Later Michael prevented Laban from harming Jacob. It was Michael who wrestled with Jacob and who afterward blessed him.

Pedro García de Benabarre, (Spanish, 1445 – 1483) 
Saint Michael Archangel, c. 1470
Tempera and gold on panel
184 x 144 cm (72 7/16 x 56 11/16 in.)
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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. More

Pedro Garcia Benavarre, or Benabarre (Benabarre, Huesca 1445-1485) was a Spanish-Flemish Gothic painter active in Aragon and Catalonia. Garcia was documented in 1445 in Zaragoza in Blasco union Grañén painter, who could be his teacher and with whom he collaborated as an assistant between 1445 and 1447. This Zaragoza highlights the execution stage of the altarpiece of Villarroya of Campo. The two partners also worked at painting altarpieces for the church of the monastery of San Pedro de Siresa in Jacetania.

In 1452 he was established in Benabarre and worked on his own. From there he moved to Barcelona in 1455, hired by the widow and son of Bernat Martorell, with whom he pledged to finalize unfinished works by the master.

It is likely that the terms of the contract signed with the Martorell were not met in full. Benabarre then worked at various nearby locations. At this stage, he had contracted to paint numerous altarpieces, including his most famous works: the Virgin enthroned and four angels or Virgen de Bellcaire, from the parish church of Bellcaire d'Urgell, now at the National Museum Art de Catalunya.

By 1481 he settled in Barbastro, painting the altarpiece at the church of the convent of San Francisco. More

Icons of Archangel Michael

Master of the Icon of the Archangel Michael
Archangel Michael, c. 10th century
Enamel and gems
17 inches tall and 14 inches
St Mark's Basilica, Venice

Icon Panel of the Archangel Michael, looted from Constantinople in 1204 and now in the Treasury of St. Mark's in Venice. It is 17 inches tall and 14 inches wide.  It is made of silver-gilt, enamel, precious stones, pearls and glass and is dated to the late tenth or early eleventh centuries.  The use of such images has been debated over the years, they could have been placed in a chapel iconostasis or carried in processions. Such and icon would be appropriate in a funeral chapel or a shrine to the Archangel himself. More

Archangel Michael, c. 11th century
Gilt-silver and enamel, set with gemstones and glass.
18 inches tall and 14 inches in width
St Mark's Basilica, Venice

Icon of St. Michael the Archangel, looted from Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade and now in the Treasury of St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice. It is dated to the late 11th or early 12th centuries. It is 18 inches tall and 14 inches in width. made of gilt-silver and enamel, set with gemstones and glass. The gold cloisonne enamel work is amazing workmanship. It is impossible to know where this icon was kept in Constantinople, there are no records of its origin. Its size and opulence may mean it came from a private Imperial chapel. More

To be the champion of God's people,
Miracle of Archangel Michael at Chonae

 Archangel Michael and the monk Archippus
Commemoration of the Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Colossae
Оrthodox icon, probably of constantinopolitan origin
First half of the 12th century. 
37.5 x 30.7 cm
Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai (Egypt) 

In Phrygia, not far from the city of Hieropolis, in a place called Cheretopos, there was a church named for the Archangel Michael, built over a miraculous spring.

This church was built by a certain inhabitant of the city of Laodicia in gratitude to God for healing his mute daughter. The holy Chief Commander Michael appeared to this man in a dream and revealed to him that his daughter would receive the gift of speech after drinking from the water of the spring. The girl actually did receive healing and began to speak. After this miracle, the father and his daughter and all their family were baptized. In fervent gratitude, the father built the church in honor of the holy Chief Commander Michael. Not only did Christians begin to come to the spring for healing, but also pagans. In so doing, many of the pagans turned from their idols and were converted to the faith in Christ. 

Miracle of Archangel Michael at Chonae
(Novgorod, 15th Century)

Archippus served for sixty years as church custodian. With the general malice of that time towards Christians, and especially against Archippus, the pagans thought to destroy the church in order to prevent people from coming to that holy place of healing, and at the same time kill Archippus.

The Miracle of Archangel Michael at Chonae 

They made a confluence of the Lykokaperos and Kufos Rivers and directed its combined flow against the church. St Archippus prayed fervently to the Chief Commander Michael to ward off the danger. The Archangel Michael appeared at the temple, and with a blow of his staff, opened a wide fissure in a rock and commanded the rushing torrents of water to flow into it. The temple remained unharmed.  More

Artists' Information:

Note 1
Girolamo Savoldo (c. 1480-1485 – after 1548) was an Italian High Renaissance painter active mostly in Venice, although he also worked in other cities in northern Italy. He is noted for his subtle use of color and chiaroscuro, and the sober realism of his works, which are mostly religious subjects, with a few portraits, which are given interest by their accessories or settings, "some even look like extracts from larger narratives".

About 40 paintings are known in all, six of them portraits; only a handful of drawings are known. He was highly regarded in his own lifetime, and several repetitions of works were commissioned, and copies done by others. But he slipped from general awareness, and many of his works were assigned to more famous artists, especially Giorgione, by the art trade. Awareness of him revived in the 19th century, though the dating of many paintings remains controversial among specialists. More

Note 2
Andrea del Verrocchio (c. 1435 – 1488), born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de' Cioni, was an Italian painter, sculptor, and goldsmith who was master of an important workshop in Florence. He became known by his nickname Verrocchio, from vero occhio, which in Italian means "true eye", a tribute given to him for his artistic achievement. Few paintings are attributed to him with certainty, but a number of important painters were trained at his workshop. His pupils included Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi. His greatest importance was as a sculptor and his last work, the Equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice, is generally accepted as a masterpiece. More

Note 3
Domenico di Michelino (1417–1491) was an Italian painter of the Florentine school and a follower of the style of Fra Angelico. He was born and died in Florence.

Michelino predominantly painted scenes from the Bible. His most famous work can be found on the west wall of Florence's "Duomo" (cathedral) Santa Maria del Fiore, including La commedia illumina Firenze ("The Comedy Illuminating Florence"), showing Dante Alighieri and the Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy). Along with Dante and the city of Florence, the work depicts Hell, Mount Purgatory, the earthly Paradise (with Adam and Eve) and the celestial spheres.

He took his name from his teacher, a carver in bone and ivory named Michelino. He was elected to the Compagnia di San Luca (painter's guild) in 1442 and joined the Arte dei Medici e degli Speziali in 1444. More

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1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome colection of religious paintings. We have some religious Paint by numbers kits, like Painting of Michael the Archangel.