Russian Museum
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Holy Archangel Michael – Leader of the Army of God. 1820s–1830s

Unknown Artist
Painted chisel etching
И.: 34,1 х 27,7; л.: 42,7 х 37,5; д.: 36,2 х 30,5

State Russian Museum


The image of the Archangel Michael in the form of a horseman came to folk art from icon painting in the first half of the 18th century. The earliest extant icons of this type date from the first half of the 17th century. The image is based on the text of the Book of Revelations. Archangel Michael is endowed with apocalyptic attributes. The Gospel preached all over the world signifies the approach of the Last Judgement. The arc over the head of the archangel is reminiscent of the heavens, which roll up like a croll on the day of the wrath of the Lord. The crumbling Babylon and the wicked castle symbolise the end of the Antichrist’s kingdom. The image was widespread among Old Believers, who believed that end times had already come.

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