The Archangel Michael Vanquishing the Devil

Unknown maker, Netherlandishabout 1530

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Archangel Michael raises his arm, sword in hand, poised to slay the devil. The battle between them takes place against an extraordinary landscape. With his golden hair, gilded wings, and flowing robes, the archangel looks victorious as he leans over his foe. Satan-a scrawny, winged creature with talons and horns-squirms on the ground, flames licking his belly.

Sinuous lines of glass paint-especially in the archangel's swirling robes-echo the pane's round shape. Stippling and scraping away the paint allowed light to pass through, enhancing the image's three-dimensional qualities. On the panel's other side, which would have faced the building's exterior, the artist painted the rich accents of silver stain, creating tones from deep orange to brilliant lemon yellow.

This roundel was likely set in a clear glass window in a private home or chapel. By this time, roundels had become widely affordable and were nearly mass-produced. Subjects varied and were often secular, but scenes such as this one were meant to encourage Christian devotion.

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  • Title: The Archangel Michael Vanquishing the Devil
  • Creator: Unknown maker, Netherlandish
  • Date: about 1530
  • Location Created: Netherlands
  • Physical Dimensions: 26.9 x 1 cm (10 9/16 x 3/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Colorless glass, oxide paint, and silver stain
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Stained glass
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 2003.73
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum North Pavilion, Gallery N103
  • Department: Sculpture & Decorative Arts
  • Culture: possibly southern Netherlandish
  • Classification: Decorative Arts