Saint Michael, weathervane
Attributed to Maarten van Rode , +/- 1444-1455
The museum houses the original statue that sat on the top of the spire of the Town Hall from 1455 to 1993. It has now been replaced by an identical copy.
Saint Michael fighting the demon symbolises the victory of Good over Evil. During the Middle Ages, the archangel became the patron saint of Brussels, and was also chosen as the official symbol of municipal authority. Dominating the Grand-Place from a height of almost 97 metres, the statue evokes not only the protection guaranteed to Brussels but also the power required by the City and its leaders.
The statue is a masterpiece of mediaeval art. The impressive piece consists of a set of hammered brass plates assembled over an internal iron structure. The archangel was originally gilded, while the demon was painted in a dark colour. With the exception of the face (renewed in the 17th century and undoubtedly not corresponding to the 15th century original), the statue was fashioned with great care, and the composition succeeds in combining power and elegance.