Tuesday, April 22, 2008

St George

Peter Paul Rubens (June 28, 1577 – May 30, 1640)
Saint George and the Dragon c. 1606
Oil on canvas
427 × 312 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Peter Paul Rubens (June 28, 1577 – May 30, 1640)
St. George Slaying the Dragon
Pen with brown ink and brown wash
H. en m 0,337 ; L. en m 0,267
Musée du Louvre département des Arts graphiques, Paris

It was painted in Genova, Italy.

Saint George is also the patron of this city.

The princess' presence on the left is included to represent the Church

The Saint's horse rears up, its hoofs high in the air as George strikes with his sword. Its white mane is coarse as is its tail but it is long and flying out to the side as if it were the hair of a woman, matching but diminishing that of the princess he is rescuing and running in parallel with the rising and plunging white plume of St George's helmet.

It is a wonder of colour in which a flowing red cloak points towards and points up the shining black of St. George's armour.

Rubens adds action, and emotion, a scene painted in the instant of a moment.

The forceful presentation of the horse and its rider together with the subordination of all parts of the image to a central theme represent the best in Rubens` work.