Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites

“Saint Michael and the Dragon” by the Sienese School

“Saint Michael and the Dragon” by the Sienese School of the 14th century, is a mystical masterpiece depicting a miraculous event in dreamlike colouration. Saint Michael the Archangel is referenced in the Old Testament and has been part of Christian teachings since the earliest times. He acts as the defender of the Church and chief opponent of Satan; and assists souls at the hour of death.

Saint Michael fighting the Dragon is part of an Apocalypse as related in the Book of Apocalypse or Revelation of St. John.

“Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.”(Rev. 12:7-9).

As the commander of the Army of God, Archangel Michael leads the other angels in the fight against evil, represented in this picture by a dragon. In this painting, Saint Michael is thrusting his spear into the dragons head.

Painted by the Sienese School of painting, which flourished in Siena, Italy between the 13th and 15th centuries and which for a time, rivalled the more naturalistic Florentine art. Siena today remains a remarkably well-preserved Italian late-Medieval town.


Essential Facts:

  • Title:                        Saint Michael and the Dragon
  • Artist:                      Sienese School
  • Year:                        14th centuary
  • Medium:                 Tempera on panel
  • Museum:                National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo


“The habit doesn’t make the monk. – El hábito no hace al monje. “
Spanish Proverb



Photo Credit: By Joyofmuseums