St. Michael

St. Michael
Artist Raphael
Year c. 1504-1505
Medium Oil on wood
Location Louvre, Paris
Dimensions 12 in × 10 in
30 cm × 26 cm

The St. Michael oil painting by Raphael is widely recognized by millions of people. Although most people know what this painting looks like, they don’t know the story behind it. The painting has an image of Archangel Michael with demons around him. He has wings and a halo attached to him while he is surrounded by the depths of hell, which are dark and dreary.

There are demon sufferers on the ground around St. Michael and underneath his foot. He carries a shield and a long sword for fighting all the demons around him. There are visible angels in the background of the painting. The damned behind him are all in suffering.

Who Created this Painting and When?

Raphael Sanzio da Urbino was an Italian painter that owned a large
workshop and was one of the great masters of his period. During his short life he created a number of different pieces of fine art. Most of his pieces hang throughout the world today, including inside of The Vatican.

Raphael painted this particular piece for Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, the Duke of Urbino, in 1504-1505. The exact reason for the creation of the piece is not known, but there is one theory that is commonly accepted. It is said that the piece was commissioned to express the gratitude of the Duke to Louis XII of France. The gratitude was a result of King Louis conferring the Order of St. Michael on Urbino’s heir and nephew.


» Raphael created another painting with this same theme in 1518 for Pope Leo X.

» This piece of art hung in the Palace of Fontainebleau in 1548.

» It was one of Raphael’s first paintings on this subject matter.