buy posters online
Buying posters via this link
helps Artchive - click here!


Mark Harden's Artchive Durer, Albrecht
St. Michael's fight against the dragon
1498
Woodcut
39.2 x 28.3 cm (15 x 11 1/8 in.)

Click to view full-sized image This is only a thumbnail image. Use the Image Viewer to study the much larger full-sized image. The Image Viewer allows you to resize the image to fit your screen, display as a thumbnail, zoom in up to 200%, or even change the background color.

For information regarding possible commercial licensing of this image from Scala Group, Art Resource or Bridgeman Art Library, click here.

[Art Posters] [Home] [Juxtapositions] [Galleries] [Theory and Criticism] [Art CD-ROM Reviews] [Artchive] [Links]


From E.H. Gombrich, "The Story of Art":

"One of Durer's first great works was a series of large woodcuts illustrating the
Revelation of St John. It was an immediate success. The terrifying, visions of the horrors
of doomsday, and of the signs and portents preceding it, had never before
been visualized with such force and power. There is little doubt that
Durer's imagination, and the interest of the public, fed on the general
discontent with the institutions of the Church which was rife in Germany
towards the end of the Middle Ages, and was finally to break out in
Luther's Reformation. To Durer and his public, the weird visions of the
apocalyptic events had acquired something like topical interest, for there
were many who expected these prophecies to come true within their
lifetime.

Revelation xii.7:

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

"To represent this great moment, Durer discarded all the traditional poses
that had been used time and again to represent, with a show of elegance
and ease, a hero's fight against a mortal enemy. Durer's St Michael does
not strike ally pose He is in deadly earnest. He uses both hands in a
mighty effort to thrust his huge spear into the dragon's throat, and this
powerful gesture dominates the whole scene. Round him there are the
hosts of other warring angels fighting as swordsmen and archers against
the fiendish monsters, whose fantastic
appearance defies description. Beneath this
celestial battlefield there lies a landscape
untroubled and serene, with Durer's
famous monogram."