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St George and the Dragon

  • Object:

    Engraving

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1627 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Vorsterman, Lucas (the elder), born 1595 - died 1675 (engraver)
    Raphael, born 1483 - died 1520 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving, ink on paper

  • Museum number:

    21529

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 10

Object Type
This print is an engraving, an image made by cutting lines into the surface of a flat piece of metal, inking the plate and then transferring the ink held in the lines onto a sheet of paper.

People
This print reproduces a painting by the central Italian artist Raphael (1483-1520). In 1505 Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino (ruled 1482-1508), commissioned Raphael, who was born in Urbino, to produce the painting. According to tradition, the Duke wanted it as a present for Henry VII of England (ruled 1485-1509). Henry had made him a member of the Order of the Garter, the highest order of English knighthood. By the time the print was made, in 1627, the painting had passed from the English Royal Collection to William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke (1580-1630). This print is dedicated to him.

Subject Depicted
St George was a legendary warrior saint and martyr who lived in the Near East at the end of the 3rd century AD. He is said to have slain a dragon outside the walls of a city in order to rescue the king's daughter, who was being offered as a sacrifice. This story originally symbolised the triumph of Christianity over paganism and the conversion of a heathen city, personified by the princess, to the true faith. George was made patron saint of England in 1222. He became patron saint of the Order of the Garter in the 14th century.

Physical description

Engraving

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1627 (made)

Artist/maker

Vorsterman, Lucas (the elder), born 1595 - died 1675 (engraver)
Raphael, born 1483 - died 1520 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Engraving, ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'RAPHAEL VRBIN inu:'
With a Latin dedication to William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke (born, Wilton, Wiltshire, 1580, died London, 1630) [owner of the painting at the time]

Dimensions

Height: 30.3 cm unmounted, Width: 22.1 cm unmounted

Object history note

Engraved in England by Lucas Vorsterman (born in Zaltbommel, The Netherlands, 1595, died in Antwerp, Belgium, 1675); after a painting by Raphael (1483-1520)

Descriptive line

Engraving, St George and the Dragon, engraved in England by Lucas Vorsterman in 1627, after a painting by Raphael

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Works of art were frequently given as gifts or exchanged at court. The original painting by Raphael on which this engraving is based had been given in 1505 to Henry VII, but had later left the royal collection. Soon after this engraving was made, Charles I acquired the original painting from William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke in exchange for a book of Holbein drawings. [27/03/2003]

Materials

Printing ink

Techniques

Engraving

Subjects depicted

Knight; Dragons; Soldiers; Princess; Horses; Armour; Chivalry; Landscapes (representations); Noblewomen

Categories

Prints; Religion; Christianity

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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