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Gustave Moreau: 'Saint George and the Dragon'

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This late work is one of the artist's rare completed oils. The design is based on a drawing that Moreau had produced about twenty years earlier. The figures of the horse and the dragon are reminiscent of those of Raphael, but the painting is otherwise a more abstract and ornamental rendering of the legendary subject.

The haloed figure of the saint recalls works of the early Renaissance that Moreau would have seen in Italy, notably those of Carpaccio and Crivelli. The figure of the princess with her hands folded in prayer in the right background, and the visionary Gothic castle in the distance, have been compared to those seen in eastern miniatures.

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