Saint George and the Dragon, Tintoretto

Saint George and the Dragon, Tintoretto
Saint George and the Dragon, Tintoretto

During the Renaissance Italy rose to the top of painting in its time, the renovation by antiquity made the country a place of obligatory passage for anyone interested in the world of art. However, within the cradle of painting there were two well-differentiated schools at the same time: on the one hand, we find the Roman school in which drawing had supremacy over color and, on the other hand, the Venetian school in which color was the most important when composing a canvas. The work that we analyze here is undoubtedly part of that second school since the composition of the canvas has been worked through color.

Saint George Fighting the Dragon is a small oil on canvas by the Venetian artist Tintoretto (1518- 1594) whose real name was Jacopo Camin and who had been one of the the greatest representatives of the Venetian Renaissance together with other outstanding figures such as Veronese or Titian. Tintoretto was nicknamed The Furious for his fast painting and dynamic compositions anticipating the later Baroque aesthetic.


Between 15150 and 1560, the exact date is not known, the Venetian artist made the work we are analyzing here, it is a small oil on canvas that is barely one meter wide and one and a half meters high. Due to its small dimensions, it is considered that piece must have been a painting ofdevotion,that is to say a canvas intended for the private chapel of some nobleman and to invite prayer. The first time the canvas was reported was in the Correr family collection in the mid-17th century, although it is not known exactly if Tintoretto painted it for them. Be that as it may, the truth is that today the canvas is exhibited at the National Gallery in London.

The work represents Saint George saving the princess from being devoured by a dragon; a theme inspired by the Golden Legend of Jacopo la Vorágine. The composition of the work is done through striking colors that take the viewer from the princess who flees in terror in the foreground to the background of the composition.

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