The battle of St. George with the dragon

Paolo Uccello • Painting, 1450-th , 74×56.5 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Religious scene, Mythological scene
Style of art: Gothic, Renaissance
Technique: Tempera
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1450-th
Size: 74×56.5 cm
Artwork in selections: 24 selections

Description of the artwork «The battle of St. George with the dragon»

There are two different versions of the paintings of Paolo Uccello with the same name "The battle of St. George with the dragon". Early written in 1439-1440 years is stored in the Parisian Museum Jacquemart-andré. And later (1455-1460) and a much more famous one in London's National gallery.

For residents of Albion painting, apart from its historical significance, and the fact that from the XIV century St. George (Pobedonosets) is the official patron Saint of England. No wonder so many kings and heirs to the throne called George (George), and the policy of the British crown so often relied on loud military victory.

Episode from the life of St. George, taken Uccello, in Christianity got the name "St. George and the dragon". He tells how the lake is one of the Libyan city settled the dragon. Citizens demanded from the Emperor to destroy a monster. But the Emperor, the idolater is commanded to send the dragon to be devoured victims and even promised to send my daughter there when it's her turn. Saved the Princess Christian warrior George.

This is in brief the episode, however, because the painting has a religious story, it is important to consider its allegorical meaning. The dragon symbolized paganism and the Princess Is the Church. To kill the dragon in the Christian system of coordinates meant to save the Church from the Gentiles. In another interpretation of George flouts not just the dragon, "that ancient serpent", that is the devil.

St. George has an extensive iconography, this is a very common scenic story – it can be found at Carpaccio, Rafael (1, 2), Rogier van der Weyden, Rubens and others. What is the peculiarity of its interpretation in Paolo Uccello? First, in courtesy. Second, in the fantastic.

Courtesy is reflected in the fact that Saint George is presented here is not a Christian Martyr, a medieval knight in shining armor and the Princess-the victim is a Beautiful Lady that performed the feat.

Fantastic same lies not so much in the story (for deep religious consciousness, he is quite real), and in the method of images. In the era of the Early Renaissance, which chronologically belonged to Uccello, already developed more realistic methods of transmission of nature. But the game stubbornly continues to create absolutely fantastic space.

The surreal nature of the scene is emphasized by the illumination features – it is unusual in both versions of the picture. What is happening in Paris looks like it lights aggressive tropical sun. This creates a feeling of anxiety and constantly increasing anxiety. "The battle of St. George with the dragon" from the London Museum, by contrast, is striking cold metallic light of the fanciful, the sinister and somehow "otherworldly". By the way, unreality, irreality, and bugarashi-an uneasy feeling arising from his paintings, Paolo Uccello was very much appreciated by the Surrealists.

Author: Anna Yesterday