St Michael is the leader of the archangels in heaven. Revelation, the last book in the Bible, describes how he and the archangels wage war against the devil and defeat him. Depictions of St Michael show him with wings, armour and a sword or spear, sometimes killing the devil in the form of a dragon or serpent.
St Michael's other duty is to weigh souls at the Last Judgement to see whether they are worthy of salvation. The scales are often shown with naked humans representing those that are being judged. Sometimes, as here, demons try to tip the scales.
- Stained glass panel showing St Michael at the Last Judgement
- Germany, about 1470
- Museum no. C.45-1919
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels waged war upon the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought, but they had not the strength to win, and no foothold was left them in heaven.