Joan Mates: Altarpiece of Saint Michael the Archangel (1410-1420)

(Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)

an altarpiece by the 15th century catalonian artist Joan Mates. This altarpieces comes from the chapel of Santa Maria de Penafel in Alt Penedès. The subject of the piece is the Archangel Saint Michael as 'soldier of Christ', the one who fights against evil. Several scenes are shown:

- left top & right top: The annunciation
- left below: The fall of the Rebel Angels (revelations 12:7). Christ is at the top in a mandorla as 'Christ in Majesty' (Maiestas Domini)
- center top: Calvary - The crucifixion of Christ with Maria and Saint John.
- center below: Saint Michael defeating the dragon (= the devil)
- right center: the miracle of Mount Gargano (a lost bull was protected from an arrow when it strayed near a site sacred to Saint Michael)
- right below: the mass of souls - Saint Michael is weighing the souls of the deceased to determine if the souls will go to Heaven or Hell.

at the bottom of the altarpiece is the resurrection of Christ. Painting from around 1410-1420.

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