The Archangel Michael as Arch Strategist (‘Mikhail Voyevoda’)
Period: 17th century
Size: 31.5 x 27 cm
A powerful Russian icon of the Archangel Michael in armour, 17th century.
The Archangel Michael is shown standing, wearing the armour of a Roman army officer. The large red cloak he wears around his shoulders the great red robe that he wears around his shoulders is blown up by the wind of the Spirit of God. During the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great (280-337), Michael was considered the commander of the heavenly army. This image of the angelic army with their leader, of course, fitted very well with the ideology of the Roman Empire. The emperor and his army ruled the earth, the heavenly army with their leader ruled the heavens. Michael is therefore often depicted as a young, strong man, dressed in soldier’s uniform. He is the archetype of the hero who fights evil in the world with the help of God.