Archangel Michael Defeating Satan
Archangel Michael Defeating Satan
Archangel Michael Defeating Satan
Archangel Michael Defeating Satan
Archangel Michael Defeating Satan
Archangel Michael Defeating Satan
Archangel Michael Defeating Satan

Image credit: Sir John Soane’s Museum

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Possibly a model for the marble statue of Saint Michael overcoming Satan, commissioned from Flaxman by the Earl of Egremont and still on display in the picture gallery at his family seat, Petworth House, in Sussex. The statue is one of the most famous of Flaxman’s sculptures and the subject is derived from John Milton’s 'Paradise Lost', in which the Archangel Michael commands an army of angels loyal to God against the rebel forces of Satan. Armed with a sword from God's armoury, he defeats Satan in personal combat, wounding his side. This small-scale version of the sculpture may have been a preparatory model by Flaxman. The finish, however, could indicate that, rather than being a working model, this was a small-scale copy made for the sculptor to retain in his own collection.

Sir John Soane’s Museum



Archangel Michael Defeating Satan






H 87 x W 38 x D 28 cm (E);
Plinth: H 13 x W 21 x D 17 cm (E)

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Sir John Soane, before 1837

Work type


Inscription description

on plinth: MICHAEL DEFEATING SATAN. / (J FLAXMAN RA 1755–1826)


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Normally on display at

Sir John Soane’s Museum

13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, Greater London WC2A 3BP England

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