St. Michael’s fight against the dragon (1498) by Albrecht Durer

St. Michael's fight against the dragon - Albrecht Durer - 1497 - 1498

Artwork Information

TitleSt. Michael's fight against the dragon
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1497 - 1498
Dimensions39.2 x 28.3 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
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About St. Michael's fight against the dragon

Albrecht Dürer’s “Saint Michael Fighting the Dragon” is a woodcut print from his “Apocalypse” series, depicting the final battle between good and evil. In this artwork, Saint Michael is seen thrusting his spear into one of the dragon’s heads as three other angels stand ready to attack. The scene takes place on a calm and serene landscape with a small town underneath.

The print is masterfully crafted, displaying Dürer’s technical and artistic skills with its high level of detailing and dynamism in composition. It is said that Dürer raised the medium of woodcut to the level of sophistication found in engraving with this work. The contrasting imagery in this artwork emphasizes the theme of good vs evil.

Dürer’s “Saint Michael Fighting the Dragon” showcases his ability to capture movement and motion within static imagery through dramatic poses, facial expressions, and muscularity in figures. The print has become iconic for its symbolism representing God’s triumph over Satan or evil forces. This woodcut remains an important example not only for religious art but also for German Renaissance art as a whole thanks to its quality and precision illustrating themes commonly depicted during that time period.

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