Tuesday, 23 April 2013

SAINT GEORGE SLAYS THE DRAGON...



As this is the day of St George, the VV is posting this pencil drawing by Edward Burne-Jones, which was probably made around 1865 and which illustrates the saint conquering the dragon - perhaps a lesser dragon than we often tend to imagine, more of a rottwieler of a beast than anything more mythical. 

However the form of this creature was derived from a sixteenth century German woodcut that Burne-Jones most probably found in the Prints and Drawings Collection of the British Museum. It is therefore fitting that this sketch was bequeathed to the Museum's collection by Cecil French.


The Fight: St George Kills the Dragon VI


The sketch is one of several made for a series of seven paintings which detailed the legend of St George. The works were originally commissioned for a private collection (in the home of Miles Birkett Foster) but the paintings have now been sold and dispersed. They are now in various locations, ranging from the Gallery of New South Wales in Australia (see above) to the Musee d'Orsay in Paris and the Forbes Collection in New York - and also, somewhat nearer to home for the VV, in the Bristol Art Gallery.

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