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The Victory of St. Michael, (painting)

Artist:
Solimena, Francesco 1657-1747
Medium:
Canvas
Type:
Paintings
Exhibition Catalogs
Date:
1876
Notes:
Appears in exhibition catalog as entry no. 119
"b. Nocera de Pagnani, Italy, 1657. He was a very successful artist and left a fortune of 200,000 scudi and numerous pictures. He was a friend of Giordano. There are numerous works by him at Naples, and several in the Dresden Gallery. d. 1747. " The victory of St. Michael. St. Michael, whose name signifies 'like unto him,' is regarded as the highest and mightiest of all created spirits. He it was whom God commissioned to expel satan and the rebellious angels from heaven. His office now is believed to be two-fold - including that of patron saint of the church on earth, and Lord of the souls of the dead, deciding their merits, presenting the good to God and sending the evil and wicked to torment. - Clement's Handbook of Legendary Art. " Of this picture the following was published in the age, April 5, 1879: . . . 'the authenticity of the work is beyond question. Its present owner bought it in 1871 from a member of the family in whose house in Naples it had hung from the days of the great painter. It was the original study for a cele- brated fresco by the artist, and remains crude and unfinished in some of the outer parts. The state of the canvas - on which , however, the work itself remained intact - made it necessary to have the work put on, or backed by, new canvas, which was done by pinti, the celebrated London restorer. The torn edges were carefully put together, and to-day the picture is in a perfect state of preservation, fresh and glowing. In size it is thirty-four by twenty-four inches. St. Michael, the central figure, clad in closely fitting mail, is the picture of youthful vigor, grace, and dignity. In his outstretched right hand, stayed after the victory, is a flaming sword; his left points heavenward. Around him, in the golden clouds,are figures of youths of a like, but perhaps a lower beauty, who regard him with love. The defeated evil spirits, writhing below are prone in agony; hideous faces they are, heads with pointed ears and the wings of bats, bodies in contortions unearthly and muscles distorted in an exaggerated way . . . the picture strongly reminds one of the pictures by rubens in the gallery at munich. . . . . the contrasts of sentiment, like those of color, are in keeping, yet strong. Above is a golden light and clouds; happiness, beauty, grace, purity, and serene dignity; below is a baleful glare, murky color, pain, hideousness, every thing to tell of the overthrow and punishment of the misdirected, evil power. There is probably not another another solimena in America." [P. 27; ellipses appear in catalogue.]
Illustrated Catalogue of Works of Art in the Art Building of the Southern Exposition at Louisville, Ky. August 16 - October 25, 1884. Prepared by Charles M. Kurtz, Director of the Art Department. Editor of National Academy Notes and the Art Union Magazine. Published for the Art Committee by John P. Morton and Company.
Topic:
Religion--Saint--St. Michael
Religion--Satan
Religion--Angel
Control number:
AECI 03860119
Data Source:
Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index

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