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Statuette - St. Michael and the Dragon

St. Michael and the Dragon

  • Object:

    Statuette

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1480-1500 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pipeclay

  • Museum number:

    1579-1903

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This statuette is made by an unknown artist in the late 15th century in Siegburg, Germany and represents the standing figure of archangel Michael and the dragon. The archangel is holding a small shield in his left hand and in his right a lance with which he strikes the dragon at his feet.

The material is pipeclay, which is a fine white clay also used to make tobacco pipes and pottery. Conveniently situated on a major trading route, Siegburg was a centre of ceramic production with well-organised workshops and kilns in which also pipe-clay figures were fired.

This figure was cast from a two-part mould and is characteristic of the small mass-produced images that, like woodcuts, were cheaply available by 1500. Conveniently situated on a major trading route, Siegburg was a centre of ceramic production with well-organised workshops and kilns in which pipe-clay figures were also fired.

The archangel Michael is the first of the angels. He is usually represented in armour with a sword and standing over or fighting with a dragon or he is shown with scales. God sent him to cast out Lucifer and he is also regarded as the angel of the Resurrection. He would receive the souls of the dead to weigh them in his balance.

Physical description

Standing figure of archangel Michael, holding a small shield in his left hand and in his right a lance with which he strikes the dragon at his feet.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)

Date

ca. 1480-1500 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Pipeclay

Dimensions

Height: 12.06 cm

Object history note

This figure was cast from a two-part mould and is characteristic of a small mass-produced images that, like woodcuts, were cheaply available by 1500. Conveniently situated on a major trading route, Siegburg was a centre of ceramic production with well-organised workshops and kilns in which pipe-clay figures were also fired.
Bought from Thewalt Collection.

Descriptive line

Statuette, pipeclay, St Michael and the Dragon, Germany (Siegburg), ca. 1480-1500

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in the Years 1903 - 1904. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, During the Year 1903, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition with Appendix and Indices. London: Printed for His Majesty's Stationery Office, by Wyman and Sons, Limited, 1907, p. 269

Production Note

Germany, Siegburg

Materials

Pipeclay

Subjects depicted

Lance; Dragon; Shield

Categories

Sculpture; Christianity; Religion

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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