Saint George Slaying the Dragon


  • Saint George Slaying the Dragon 2
  • Saint George Slaying the Dragon 3
Basic information
Saint George Slaying the Dragon
Date of creation
16th c.
tempera painting
wood panel tempera
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
86 x 65
Information about author
Object description
Saint George slaying the dragon is the most popular iconographic plot, the basis of which takes place in the pre-Christian period. The apocryphal story about the saint man is based on the ancient myth of Perseus who killed a sea monster and saved Andromeda, a daughter of the King Cepheus, thereby saving the city from disaster. The plot of the story about St. George is similar, but the ancient symbols acquire new meanings. The icon is based on a traditional composition typical of such an image; it is full of imagination, which is mostly evident in the depiction of details. In particular, this includes the image of a dragon, which is painted in green colors, with red wings, a terrible mouth resembling a bird's beak, a bloated belly, and short legs. The icon is devoid of the former drama, as George is shown as a handsome young knight who easily deals with the enemy; he is painted on a pearl-gray horse, dressed in a decorative armor over a green tunic, and a fly-away bright red coat. Along the diagonal of the painting from left to right, the rocky land is shown. Spirituality, poetry, and the dream of the victory of good over evil can be traced in the image of St. George. In the upper left corner of the icon, there is a fragment of heaven, from which an angel comes down to crown the winner. To the right, there is the city gate with houses and people looking out of the windows and watching how the King is handing St. George the keys to the city. The dynamism of the lines and the refined harmonious color scheme add vitality to the work.