Saint Michael

Artist: Probably by Gaetano Fumo (active 1737–59)

Date: 1740–45

Culture: Italian, Naples

Medium: Silver

Dimensions: Overall: 12 1/4 x 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (31.1 x 14 x 14 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Miniature

Credit Line: Purchase, Bequest of Louis Einstein, by exchange, 1976

Accession Number: 1976.46a, b


Fumo is said to have ceased working silver in 1745 in favor of employment as an engraver at Capodimonte. In 1759, he followed Charles III to Spain, where he continued working at Buen Retiro. Here, the absence of a dragon beneath Saint Michael's feet is unusual. It has been proposed that the base itself may have belonged originally to a candlestick and that its soldered-on flat top, being made of rolled metal, must date to the late eighteenth century. This suggests that the base was adapted during that period as a pedestal for the figure, which had once stood on a dragon.