St George Slaying the Dragon

Altarpiece figure attributed to the Master of Rabenden
Upper Bavaria, c. 1515-1520
Polychrome linden wood
Gift of Jules Maciet, 1887
Inv. 4052
© MAD, Paris / photo: Jean Tholance

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St George holds the tip of the dragon’s tail in his right hand. His left hand once brandished a sword (now lost), preparing to plunge it into the creature’s tail. The dragon, lying conquered on the ground, looks up at the saint whose gaze is turned away. St George wears a doublet with asymmetrical slashes – a motif imported from Switzerland that was very fashionable when this work was made; the slashes on the right form a cross shape that could be a symbol of the knight saint, leader of the crusades – but as St George’s military dress is a fanciful interpretation by the sculptor, this is just a hypothesis.

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