The Raphael TrailBook - 2006
St George and the Dragon is a supremely beautiful painting. It is an exquisitely rendered vision of a universal tale of good and evil. And it is also an example of how art witnesses and participates in the ebb and flow of world power. For its artist Raphael the painting represented a crucial step in his ascent to the peak of the Renaissance art world and for a succession of jealous owners it was the ultimate symbol of power and prestige. Painted for Henry VII the painting then played a crucial part in the diplomatic intrigues in Henry VIII's rumbustious court. After Charles I's execution it moved through France into the gathering power and purchases of Catherine the Great and her Hermitage. It is a small work of art and during the Russian Revolution its vulnerability was perilous - it was shunted around Russia as war raged until, in an utterly dodgy transaction it was sold by Stalin to the US Treasury Secretary, into the grips of a new world power.
Publisher: London : Ebury, c2006
Branch Call Number: 759.5 Pit 3558
Characteristics: ix, 291 p. ;,23 cm