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Domenichino, Saint George killing the Dragon

Key facts
Full title Saint George killing the Dragon
Artist Domenichino
Artist dates 1581 - 1641
Date made about 1610
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 52.7 × 61.8 cm
Acquisition credit Holwell Carr Bequest, 1831
Inventory number NG75
Location Room 37
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Saint George killing the Dragon

Saint George, a Christian knight, saved a city which was being terrorised by a dragon. Here he charges the beast, who crouches on a grisly collection of bloody bones. The princess, who was to be its next meal, makes a hasty escape on the left.

Although ostensibly a history painting, it is the landscape that is really the subject here. Renowned for large-scale frescoes and altarpieces, Domenichino also painted numerous small landscapes. This may well be one of his earliest, and it conveys the sense of spaciousness which was one of his greatest contributions to landscape painting. He had followed Annibale Carracci to Rome in 1602, and was heavily influenced by him, as well as by Flemish painters working in Rome.

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