St. George and the Dragon - Peter Paul Rubens. Oil on Canvas, 304x256
The painting "St. George and the Dragon" is one of Rubens' most striking works, embodying a religious plot. The painting was written when the artist was 29 years old.
There are two stable traditions of the image of St. George the Victorious - eastern and western. The Eastern canons provide for a more spiritual perception of the plot - the young man, as a rule, is thin, young, beardless, he pierces the enemy with a thin spear without any effort. Such an interpretation is just a visual reminder of a famous biblical plot.
The presented canvas is a striking example of Western traditions - a realistic plot, actually tangible heroes, vivid emotions and unique dynamics.
Rubens “revived” St. George. The viewer sees a muscular man on a rearing, mighty horse, who held his hand high to defeat a dragon snake. As always, the painter saturated his picture with drama, in which he saw the greatest power that could affect the religious feelings of people.
Almost the entire space of the picture is occupied by a rider in heavy armor and a horse. George’s courageous calm face, his confident gesture is Rubens’s praise to the image of an ideal man, protector, hero. At the same time, the horse is in no way inferior to the hero, both of them - swiftness, strength, impulse.
Bright saturated colors, contrasts of dark and light give the work the energy that is inherent in all his paintings with a dynamic plot. His passionate admirer Eugene Delacroix once noted that if you compare the work of Rubens and Veronese or Titian, then the latter will seem "terribly meek."