'St George and the Dragon' thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

'St George and the Dragon'

Photograph
1875 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Best known by his pen-name Lewis Carroll, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was also a mathematics don at Christ Church, Oxford, and an accomplished amateur photographer. The affection of the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for children is well-known, and indeed, many of Dodgson’s best photographs are sensitive portraits of his ‘child friends’. These range from straightforward portraits of children dressed in their own clothes (see the portrait of Xie Kitchin, Ph.408-1981) to photographs of children in fancy-dress, sometimes acting out narratives.

St George and the Dragon is one of Dodgson’s most ambitious narrative photographs, in which all four Kitchin siblings (the children of George William Kitchin (1827-1912), dean of Christ Church) use the accoutrements of the nursery to act out this allegory of the triumph of good over evil. In a belted nightgown and a cardboard crown, Alexandra ‘Xie’ Rhoda (1864-1925) plays the princess while her brother Brook Taylor (1869-1940), as St George, rides a rocking horse to her rescue. George Herbert (b.1865) is the dead soldier and Hugh Bridges (1867-1945), draped in a leopard-skin rug, the vanquished dragon. The photograph was made in Dodgson’s attic studio at Christ Church on 26 June 1875.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional Title'Xie Kitchin and her Brothers at Christ Church' (generic title)
Materials and Techniques
Albumen print from a wet collodion negative
Brief Description
Photograph by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) Xie, Herbert, Hugh, and Brook Kitchin in "St George and the Dragon", albumen print, 1875.
Physical Description
Photograph of young children acting out story of St George and the Dragon.
Dimensions
  • Object height: 110mm
  • Object width: 165mm
Gallery Label
Label for 'Making It Up: Photographic Fictions' (3 May 2013 - 12 January 2014) and 2018: Best known as the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Dodgson was also an Oxford mathematics don and an accomplished amateur photographer. Many of his photographs are portraits of his ‘child friends’. Here, four siblings enact St George slaying the dragon and rescuing the princess. The scene is at once a depiction of the popular legend and a staged representation of children at play. Albumen print Given by Noelene Grant Museum no. E.145-2009
Credit line
Given by Noelene Grant
Object history
Letters relating to this photograph are currently stored in PX3.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Best known by his pen-name Lewis Carroll, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was also a mathematics don at Christ Church, Oxford, and an accomplished amateur photographer. The affection of the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for children is well-known, and indeed, many of Dodgson’s best photographs are sensitive portraits of his ‘child friends’. These range from straightforward portraits of children dressed in their own clothes (see the portrait of Xie Kitchin, Ph.408-1981) to photographs of children in fancy-dress, sometimes acting out narratives.



St George and the Dragon is one of Dodgson’s most ambitious narrative photographs, in which all four Kitchin siblings (the children of George William Kitchin (1827-1912), dean of Christ Church) use the accoutrements of the nursery to act out this allegory of the triumph of good over evil. In a belted nightgown and a cardboard crown, Alexandra ‘Xie’ Rhoda (1864-1925) plays the princess while her brother Brook Taylor (1869-1940), as St George, rides a rocking horse to her rescue. George Herbert (b.1865) is the dead soldier and Hugh Bridges (1867-1945), draped in a leopard-skin rug, the vanquished dragon. The photograph was made in Dodgson’s attic studio at Christ Church on 26 June 1875.
Bibliographic References
  • Similar image appears in Lewis Carroll: Photographer (2002) Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University, page 217.
  • Published in V&A Publications/Thames and Hudson 'Making It Up: Photographic Fictions' 2018, by Marta Weiss
Collection
Accession Number
E.145-2009

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record createdJuly 29, 2009
Record URL