This atmospheric painting was gifted to the National Gallery in London after its owner, William Holwell Carr, has passed away. It features an intriguing blend of Tintoretto's Venetian colour palettes with the figurative techniques which he learnt from studying Michelangelo.
The artist captures the moment just as Saint George is about to slay the dragon, so according to legend. He adds a luscious background scene which lifts the overall composition, with the colours chosen being highly typical of his Venetian-roots. One might even compare it directly to the work of Giorgione, for example.
Elements of the landscape are also used to lead the eye in the direction desired by the artist, rather than just having a purely aesthetic role. The sky scene is also styled in a way that helps to build the atmosphere yet further. Saint George has also appeared in the work of other famous artists such as Paolo Uccello (Saint George and the Dragon) and Raphael (Saint George and the Dragon).
Saint George was a true martyr who refused to relinquish his Christian beliefs, even when subjected to the most serious of punishments. He became highly celebrated amongst Christian crusaders and was originally of Roman descent. Such is his popularity that artists from right across the world have depicted him at various points, in a variety of mediums from painting, to sculpture, to tapestry and illustration.