California Folk Artist
St. Michael the Archangel

19th century (est.)
Wood, polychrome
Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, California

This santo keeps all of the traditional iconography (the sword and garb of a Roman soldier, the sword, the balance scales) but with a bit of innovation that bespeaks a nontraditional understanding of what these features represent. The scales hold not one soul being weighed but two weighing against each other. And the dragon's face is a snake with a mask at one end and the flames of hell painted on its body.

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Photographed at the mission by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.