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St. Michael and the Dragon

Sienese School of the 14th centuryUndated

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

While some might consider the knight fighting a dragon to be St. George, the wings on the knight and the fact that he is not astride a horse indicate that he is actually the Archangel Michael. This image is based on Revelations 12:7-9, which describes a battle in heaven when the Archangel Michael defeated the dragon who was cast out of the heavens and fell to earth. The two stories of subjugating a dragon, those related to the Archangel Michael and St. George, are often confused, as here where Michael is show subjugating the monster on earth. The archangel is seen against a gold ground, holding a shield in his left hand while pinning a dragon to the ground with the lance held in his right hand. The brilliant contrasting colors of red, white, yellow and green rust combine with the detailed rendering of facial nuances in green to clearly reflect the decoratively lyric style of the 14th century Sienese school. This work was formerly in the Loeser Collection of Florence, where it was attributed to Lorenzetti. Everett Fahy and Federico Zeri later attributed the work to Barna, an anonymous painter who created the New Testament frescos in the Collegiata di San Gimignano. In recent years, however, the argument has arisen that the work was created by the Master of the Rebel Angels, a follower of Simone Martini active in Avignon. Another theory considers the work to be by an artist in the circle of Niccolò di Ser Sozzo. Further work is needed to firmly attribute this painting.(Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 2)

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  • Title: St. Michael and the Dragon
  • Date Created: Undated
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Provenance: Loeser, Firenze (attributed to Lorenzetti); Frederick Mont, New York.
  • Physical Dimensions: w190 x h405 mm
  • Painter: Sienese School of the 14th century
  • Object title (Japanese): 聖ミカエルと龍
  • Object notes (Japanese): 龍と闘う騎士の像は聖ゲオルギウスとも考えられるが、この作品の騎士は天使のように翼を持っており、馬に跨っていないので、大天使聖ミカエルとする方が正しいであろう。天で戦争があったとき、ミカエルが龍と闘い地上に落下させたという黙示録(第12章7-9節)に基づく場面である。しかし龍退治に関するこの二つの主題はしばしば混同され、ここでもミカエルは地上で怪物を退治している。金地を背景に天使が楯を左手に持ち、右手を振り上げて龍を槍で刺し貫いているところである。赤、白、黄、緑青色の強い色彩の対照が美しく、また顔には緑などの微妙なニュアンスが施されていて、 14世紀シエナ派の装飾的でしかも叙情的な作風を充分に窺わせる。本作品はフィレンツェのローザー・コレクション旧蔵で、同コレクションではロレンツェッティに帰されていた。しかしエヴェレット・フェイおよびフェデリコ・デーリは、本作品をいわゆる「パルナ」(サン・ジミニャーノ僧院の新約伝壁画を描いた逸名画家)の作としている。また近年では、作者をアヴィニョンにおけるシモーネ・マルティーニ追随者「反逆天使の画家」であるとする説、ニッコロ・ディ・セル・ソッツォ周辺の画家であるとする説も出されており、作者の確定は今後の研究をまつ。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 2)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): シエナ派、14世紀
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Tempera on panel

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