Tag: St Michael

St. Michael at Coventry, a symbol of the triumph of Good over evil.

photo by Mr. G. | St Michael and the dragon, Coventry.

The new part of Coventry Cathedral has this amazing statue of St. Michael and the Dragon.
Michael defeating the dragon or satan is recorded in The Book Of Revelation, Chapter 12, verse 7-9, is symbolic of the triumph of good over evil :

And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Coventry Cathedral is dedicated to St. Michael but the statue has an additional significance which is itself about the victory of good over evil.
On November 14th 1940, the Cathedral was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe along with much of the city. It was, temporarily, a victory of evil but it was ultimately a hollow victory. Out of the ashes, a new Cathedral arose, like a Phoenix and the new part of the Cathedral, connected to the ruins of the old with a huge glass screen, is a sign of the determination and the vision to show the triumph of good over evil.
(I shall be posting more about this later).

The Cathedral was designed by the renowned architect, Basil Spence.
When the Provost of the Cathedral discussed the design of the statue with Basil Spence, he suggested Jacob Epstein. Spence regarded him as the greatest sculptor of the 20th century. He was, however, to some a controversial figure but a visit to him by Provost Howard and Spence led to the commission being given. Provost Howard was won over by Epstein’s charm and spiritual vision. As Epstein began to work on the sculpture, his design won people over. Ultimately cast in bronze, it was erected at the Cathedral in 1960. Sadly Epstein didn’t see it situ because he died a year earlier.

Josefina de Vasconcellos – St Michael

Josefina on the meaning of her statue
St. Michael (1991)

“Soul is form and doth the body make.”

My friends ask me the meaning of some of my works.
Take St. Michael – He is battling his way through the abstract jaws of the Dragon (beautiful “Lucifer son of the morning made hideous by hate and pride”) and shows that what is seen of evil is not the worst. St. Michael is battling his way through the unseen thoughts, feelings, vibes, powers.
He’s a sort of “God’s Ariel” and I hope you’ll find the laughter hidden in him? I often see courage and laughter marching together – and the beauty in it reminiscent of some words in a prayer, “high hearted happiness”.

Josephina de Vasconcellos FRBS. AWG. IPI. Hon Ditt.