Early on in our walk through the Cloisters, I encountered Saint Michael. The Met writes of him:
“Armed with a coat of mail, dagger, shield, and lance, the archangel Michael symbolizes the triumph over evil. The demon at his feet is the Antichrist, cast out of heaven. The youthful beauty and sumptuous raiment of Saint Michael in the rich courtly setting combine with the image of the demon to form a stark visual contrast between the strength and splendor of the Church and the monstrousness of evil defeated.” [cite]Read more: The Cloisters in Late September
Oddly, as I examined the painting, the Antichrist looked far from dead to me, despite the spear impaling his jaw. I will say, though, that it’s hard to imagine a portrait of a demon that betters this one.
Elsewhere on our tour around the premises, there was plenty of beauty to offset the terrors.