The Legend of St George

The central panel shows the legend of St. George killing a dragon outside the city of Antioch.

Below is his wife Sabra who has just borne three boys, one of whom is being carried off by a lion. This romantic addition to the legend was current in the sixteenth century.

St. George is the patron saint of England and of the Royal Order of the Garter. He was also venerated by warrior kings like Henry VIII.

Above St. George are reclining male nudes: a popular motif of renaissance art. God appears in blessing above them.

At the top and the bottom are the initials of Henry and Anne Boleyn: ‘H’ and ‘A’.

Down either side is a frieze of military trophies, appropriate to the general martial theme.

Several different carvers have worked on the stall. The central round panel and the figure of God above it are much finer than the rest of the work. *

The Legend of St George
*From a signboard next to the artwork

6 Comments CherryPie on Dec 6th 2017

6 Responses to “The Legend of St George”

  1. Good to see.
    Nicer to touch!
    Weird?! Why do people touch his right leg?! ;)

  2. Amfortas says:

    It does beg the question: do myths aid the artist or does the artist aid the myth. Those old carvers and painters had ‘patrons’ who needed to be pleased. An initial or two here: a bit of smut there: a fine manly chap ahorse; God in His Heaven. Patronage for old rope. But a fine piece ne’ertheless.

    • CherryPie says:

      The head presiding over St George reminds me more of the Old Testament Prophets. Perhaps Moses, he is portrayed like this in several paintings.

  3. james higham says:

    When I was in Sicily, we were shown around and the lady mentioned St George. “Ah,” said I, “we have a St George too.”

    “No, he’s our St George!” she retorted, hot under the collar.

    She might be right – they’re closer to the birthplace.