Saint George and the Dragon by Uccello

Saint George and the Dragon by Uccello
Saint George and the Dragon by Uccello
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With this same theme there are two versions made by the Italian painter Paolo Uccello. One, the one we see here that was made between 1430 and 1435 with tempera on board and is one of the masterpieces treasured by the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris. And there is another version, but in this case the National Gallery in London owns. Although both paintings are undeniably by Uccello since the dreamy atmosphere that surrounds the characters is typical of this author and can also be seen in other of his creations such as the famous Battle of San Romano.

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Saint George and the Dragon by Uccello

It is also very common in the paintings of this painter of the Florentine Renaissance that he plays with elements from the Middle Ages combined with others more characteristic of the painting of the Quattrocento. For example, here we see that the crest of the dragon to be speared by Saint George could easily be inspired by Gothic windows. Or that the princess who is going to be saved looks like a medallion-shaped bust that was common in churches. However, he integrates all of this into a landscape with a somewhat surreal air, but which he uses to introduce the concept of perspective in the table.

By the way, it is a rather complex perspective, since in the center of the table and serving as the background for the spear scene, a large rock appears,which would be the abode of the dragon. This rock divides the background in two, and in each of these parts there is a different perspective and a different vanishing point. While on the left side there are some orchards that geometrically propose the idea of ​​distance towards the background, where the city is located, on the right side, less landscape is seen, and it would be the mount, which also has a lowest horizon line.

Throughout the history of art there have been innumerable representations of Saint George and the dragon, both in painting and sculpture, as well as in other decorative arts. And it's curious, because despite the holiness of the character, the truth is that it is a myth of Eastern origin, which became known in the West above all thanks to The Golden Legend of Jacobo de la Voragine. A story that tells us that the dragon had frightened a city, and to appease his evil, the citizens regularly offered him a human victim in sacrifice.

Chance meant that one day it would be the turn of the king's daughter to be sacrificed, but she was saved at the last moment by Saint George, who arrived to spear that fantastic animal. A fact that also served to convert the entire city to Christianity.

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