Saint Michel défait le diable (1850)

Delacroix, Eugène (1798-1863)

Saint Michel défait le diable (Saint Michael Defeats the Devil)
probably 1850
Oil on paper mounted to canvas, 48.3 x 59.7 cm
Barnes FoundationPhiladelphia

Delacroix made this small sketch for a much larger commission: the ceiling of the Chapel of the Holy Angels in the church of Saint-Sulpice, Paris. In this biblical scene, the archangel Michael vanquishes Satan. Delacroix‘s powerful, athletic presentation draws from religious paintings by Titian and Rubens, among others. The Saint-Sulpice commission was part of an effort by Napoleon III and other officials to revivify Parisian churches in a bid for national reintegration following the French Revolution. (BF)