Saint George and the Dragon

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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Saint George plunges his lance into the jaws of the dragon which, according to legend, inhabited the lake outside the city of Lydda in the Holy Land. He has arrived just in time to save the princess, who had been presented as a sacrifice to the creature. The dead body of one of the dragon’s earlier victims lies on the ground. God the Father appears in the heavens in answer to George’s prayers and intervenes to help him defeat the dragon. Tintoretto has devised a daring, dramatically heaving composition, with the horizon set two thirds up the picture and the figures positioned above one another receding obliquely into the distance. The headlong movement of the princess and Saint George is continued in the swirling draperies, rushing waters and thunderous clouds pierced by blinding beams of light in the heavens.

The National Gallery, London



Saint George and the Dragon


about 1555


Oil on canvas


H 158.3 x W 100.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Holwell Carr Bequest, 1831

Work type



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