(French, 15th century)
Model of a Town
Gilded copper, semiprecious stones
5.25 x 5.75 x 6 in, with base
13.34 x 14.61 x 15.24 cm
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
In the foreground of this model, the archangel Michael is portrayed slaying the devil on a mountaintop. The town may represent a physical place, such as Mont Saint Michel, but its square shape recalls the description of the Heavenly Jerusalem by John of Patmos in Revelation 21: “The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long.” Whatever the case, the artist’s use of gold and semiprecious stones celebrates the sacred atmosphere and the divine nature of the archangel’s triumph.