Crete School St George and the Dragon
For my study, I selected a famous icon from the Crete school c1500. My chosen technique (with transparency in places) was different than the opaque paint technique used by many of Orthodox iconographers. Shown above with some details yet to be finalized.
At Home with St George
St. George can be viewed metaphorically as a Christ figure and the dragon as sinful man (with a broken or wild heart) in need of need of "saving".
In some stories of this legendary Saint, the dragon is tamed and not killed. This version is presented at the end of this post.
"George, Celebrated April 23rd and November 3rd, is called the 'Great Martyr" by Greeks. A victim of the last persecution at the beginning of the fourth century, he died at Lydda in Palestine. During the fourth century a basilica containing his remains was dedicated to him. George's legend, known by a manuscript from the 5th century, contains many tales, of which the story of the dragon is most popular. As a [Roman] military tribune stationed in Libya, the Saint encountered an adolescent girl in tears. There appeared a hideous dragon which george first brought to the ground with the sign of the Cross. In a later version, George wounded the dragon with his lance and saved him with his staff" ( Weitzman, "Icons",1993).
A Story about St George
A monastic related a more recent story about St George to me.
It goes something like this:
In this century, some villagers were taken prisoner and the "conquerors" planned to execute them away from their village and then parade their bodies later. They were imprisoned in the meantime. One prisoner had a particular devotion to St. George and prayed for their safe passage. It is said that during the night they heard the beat of singular horse hooves ( is that the correct way to say it?) outside their prison door and then the sound of the unlatching of the door. The prisoners escaped and lived to tell the story.
Catholic Online: St George
A dissertation on St George from Catholic University of America.
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Christine M. (CM) Jentz.
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