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The Miracle of Castel Sant'Angelo

Panel from an altarpiece

Artist/maker unknown, active Aragon, Spanish

Made in Aragon, Spain, Europe

c. 1500

Tempera and tooled gold on panel

37 x 29 1/8 inches (94 x 74 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 273, European Art 1500-1850, second floor

Accession Number:
Cat. 798

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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In an effort to save Rome from a terrible plague, Pope Gregory the Great (died 604) led a procession around the ancient tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian, which was a large fortress on the Tiber River. The pope carried an image of the Virgin Mary. Saint Michael Archangel appeared miraculously on the battlements and halted the spread of the plague. The fortress, which can be visited today in the center of Rome, was renamed Castel Sant'Angelo after the archangel.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.