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Panel - St Michael

St Michael

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:

    A.27-1946

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The saint, an archangel, wearing a tiara, looks down to the bottom right-hand side of the panel at the upturned jaws of the dragon into which he thrusts a lance held in his right hand. Unusually the saint is shown without wings, but these were probably lost when the top of the panel was cut away. The saint's body, arms and legs are carved with scored, overlapping squares representing feathers to indicate he is an angel.

Physical description

The saint, an archangel, wearing a tiara, looks down to the bottom right-hand side of the panel at the upturned jaws of the dragon, into which he thrusts a lance held in his right hand. Unusually, the saint is shown without wings, but these were probably lost when the top of the panel was cut away. In his left hand he holds a shield, which he also thrusts into the dragon's jaws. The saint's body, arms and legs are carved with scored, overlapping squares representing feathers to indicate he is an angel. He wears a kerchief round his neck and a cloak draped from his left shoulder. The dragon's tail curls round the saint's left leg.

The lower part of the panel, including the saint's feet and most of the dragon, is missing. The saint's right hand and the top part of the lance are missing. His head has been broken from the body and replaced. The panel has been roughly cut away round the head and shoulders of the saint. No paint remains.

The back of the panel is marked with a roughly drawn profile of a man, a number of random scratches, the number '15541' and an outline shield with some deep cuts in it. There is one lead-plugged hole.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved alabaster

Marks and inscriptions

A roughly drawn profile of a man, a number of random scratches, the number '15541' and an outline shield with some deep cuts in it.
On the back of the panel.

Dimensions

Height: 46.5 cm, Width: 17.3 cm

Object history note

Acquired by Dr W. L. Hildburgh in Paris. On loan from him since 1921. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1946.

Historical significance: Other figures of St. Michael in English alabaster include a terminal figure on a Passion altarpiece in the church at Pingeyrar, Iceland, where he is paired with St. Gabriel; a terminal figure on an altarpiece of the Life of St. George in the church at Borbjerg, Denmark, where he is paired with St. George; a terminal figure on an altarpiece of the Joys of the Virgin in the church at Châtelaudren, Côtes du Nord, where he is paired with St. Christopher. A panel, closely resembling the present panel in design, of St. Michael (with wings) was in the chapel of Naworth Castle, Cumbria. A carving of the saint is on the side of the alabaster tomb of William Rudhall (d. 1530) and his wife at Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

Descriptive line

Alabaster panel depicting St Michael. English, 15th century.

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 132 (cat. 61), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0
Hildburgh, W.L. Notes on some English Medieval Alabaster Carvings. Antiquaries Journal. III, 1923, pp. 26-8, fig. 4.

Materials

Alabaster

Techniques

Carving

Subjects depicted

Cloak; Feather; Tiara; Kerchief; Shield; Lance; Dragon

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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