Saint George and the Dragon (Uccello)
|Type||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||55.6 cm × 74.2 cm (21.9 in × 29.2 in)|
|Location||National Gallery, London|
Saint George and the Dragon is a painting by Paolo Uccello dating from around 1470. It is on display in the National Gallery, London, United Kingdom. It was formerly housed in the Palais Lanckoroński in Vienna, belonging to Count Lanckoroński and sold by his son and heir Anton in 1959 through Mr Farago. The first mention of it being there is 1898.
Gothicizing tendencies in Paolo Uccello's art are nowhere more apparent than in this painting. It shows a scene from the famous story of Saint George and the dragon. On the right George is spearing the beast, and on the left the princess is using her belt as a leash to take the dragon up to the town. Paolo Uccello's depiction of Saint George a damsel in distress, or persecuted maiden, is a classic theme in world literature, art, and film. She is usually a beautiful young woman placed in a dire predicament by a villain or monster and who requires a hero to achieve her rescue. She has become a stock character of fiction, particularly of melodrama. Though she is usually human, she can also be of any other species, including fictional or folkloric species; and even divine figures such as an angel or deity.
The eye in the storm gathering on the right of Saint George is lined up with his spear showing there has been divine intervention.
An earlier less dramatic version of the same subject by the Italian artist is in the Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris.
The painting is used as the basis for the U. A. Fanthorpe poem, Not My Best Side, and may have served as inspiration for Sir John Tenniel's illustration of the Jabberwock in Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.
- Paolo Uccelo | Saint George and the Dragon | NG6294, The National Gallery, London.
- "Not My Best Side, U.A. Fanthrope". Emory University. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Gardner, Martin (1999) The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition. W. W. Norton & Co.
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