The Archangel St. Michael

Lisbon workshop, Nicolau Pinto18th century

MNAA National Museum of Ancient Art

MNAA National Museum of Ancient Art
Lisbon, Portugal

The young Roman soldier, winged and standing on a cloud, represents the Archangel St. Michael, raising his right arm in order to wield the sword – or a lance (now disappeared) – with which he defeated the rebellious angels who called into question the power of God. Displayed on his chest is a glory with a circular medallion inscribed with the phrase DEVS QVIS SICVT (who is like God). In the centre of this is the triangle with the eye of Divine Providence. These were customary emblems in the images that were made of St. Michael after the Catholic Counter Reformation. The use of these symbols expresses the baroque taste for allegory and indicates the role that the sculpted image played in delighting and teaching people. The sculpture comes from the heritage of the Royal College of St. Patrick in Lisbon, where Irish clergymen were trained as missionaries.


  • Title: The Archangel St. Michael
  • Creator: Lisbon workshop, Nicolau Pinto
  • Date Created: 18th century
  • Location Created: Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 195.5 cm x 150 cm x 102 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: MNAA Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, inv. 554 Esc
  • Medium: Gilded, estofado and polychrome wood; glass eyes

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