Archangel Michael

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Ο ΑΡΧ(ΩΝ) ΜΙΧΑΗΛ Ο ΜΕΓΑC ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΗ(C) (the Chief [among angels] Michael Grand Taxiarch) is depicted in a formal, frontal pose. In his right hand he holds a sceptre, while in his left he has the transparent globe of the world, with a cross on the top and the gold initials Χ Δ Κ (for Christ [Χρίστος] Just [Δίκαιος] Judge [Κριτής]) in the centre together with a depiction of a lion. From an iconographical point of view the Archangel can be connected with the figure of the Archangel Michael from the larger scene of the Last Judgment in the Chora Monastery in Constantinople (1315-1320). The fact that the icon comes from Constantinople, its direct connection with the marvellous wall-paintings of the Chora Monastery and the high quality of the painting allow us to attribute this work to an important workshop based in Constantinople in the first half of the 14th century. The image of the lion on the globe, the title given to the archangel and its association with the Angel Michael in the Last Judgment incline us to suppose that the scene has some eschatological context.