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St George Altarpiece, Museum no. 1217-1864 | by Medieval and Renaissance - V&A
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St George Altarpiece, Museum no. 1217-1864

This detail from a altarpiece shows St. George killing the dragon. It was painted around 1420 in Valencia, Spain. The artist was probably Andrés Marçal de Sas. He was German. The altarpiece itself is vast standing to a height of 6 meters with a width of 5.5 meters.


The altrapiece was made for a chapel in Valencia that belonged to a civic militia dedicated to St George. According to legend St George had served in the Roman army. Sixteen other painted panels show various bloodthirsty scenes from the life and death of St George, but the image of the Slaying of the Dragon is the biggest and most prominent.


This version of the legend was set in Silene in Libya, where a dragon threatening the city had to be pacified by the frequent sacrifice of a man and a sheep. When the King's daughter, the Princess Sabra, [here pictured in the background with the sheep] drew the fatal lot, and was led to be eaten by the dragon, St George intervened and pierced the monster with his lance.


Museum Number: 1217-1864

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Taken on April 20, 2007