In the Orthodox tradition Archangel Michael is the Archistratig, the “supreme commander of the Lord’s Host” (Joshua 5:13–15). In Hebrew his name means “he who is like God.” Under his leadership the heavenly forces defeat the devil in battle. In Goncharova’s war series he stands for the justice and power of the Eastern Christian faith.
Goncharova depicts Saint Michael in the Russian iconographic tradition with attributes that refer to Revelation. He has wings like an angel and a rainbow above his head. The book in his right hand represents the Book of Life, containing the names of the chosen ones at the Last Judgment, and in his left he holds a censer. The trumpet refers to his function as a warrior and a judge at the Last Judgment. On his horse he seems to fly over the hellfire.
angels; wars; fires; animals; Christianity; religion; horses; musical instruments; horns; censers; rainbows
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