Saint Michael the Archangel
The pair of representations with Saint Michael the Archangel and Saint Raphael the Archangel held in the CajaSur collection arouses great interest. They are relatively well-preserved works which allow one to understand fairly closely the technique used by Valdés Leal in the last moments of his Cordovan activity. Through his physical attitude, Saint Michael the Archangel shows an elegant presence which is reinforced by the arrogance expressed by his gesture of satisfaction of having triumphed over the demon lying at his feet. His image, as heralded by the ideology of the Counter-Reform, conveys security and confidence in the fight against evil.
The artist also depicted a beautiful image in his physical appearance, bestowing the archangel with an attractive face portrayed with sweet features framed by long curly black hair falling over his shoulders. His kind presence is intensified by the quality of his clothing, which elegantly harmonises lord-like and warlike aspects, thus creating the presence of an aristocratic ephebe who at the same time shows his militant flair in the mission to defend the celestial cause.
Enrique Valdivieso González.
Professor of Art History.