Saint Michael and Saint Margaret
Date: 16th century
Material: Oil on chestnut
Dimensions: H 175,4 x W 75
Provenance: Guimarães, Igreja de São Miguel do Castelo
Inventory No.: MAS P 11
Incomplete painting that originally depicted Saint Sebastian, Saint Michael and Saint Margaret.
Saint Michael the archangel is the leader of the celestial army and the defender of the Church for which he fights and defeats the rebel angels and the dragon, expelling them from Heaven.
The story of Saint Margaret is fabulous. According to the legend, she was swallowed by a dragon, whose belly she ripped with a cross she carried, thus saving herself.
So, this saint was adopted as the patron saint of expectant women, who asked for her help when they were about to give birth, so their children got out safe and sound from their wombs, as she had from the belly of the dragon.
In Guimarães, Saint Margaret was worshiped in the Igreja de São Miguel do Castelo, also known as Igreja de Santa Margarida.
Ignace Vandevivere e José Alberto Seabra studied a small collection of paintings, where this one is included (MAS P 3, MAS P 8 and MAS PD 1). They all bear the same very personalized style of execution and several stylistic affinities that seem to indicate a common authorship: a Guimarães workshop that was active in the beginning of the 16th century with an interesting unknown master they chose to name Delirious Master of Guimarães.