'St. George and the Dragon', carved ivory relief

'St. George and the Dragon', carved ivory relief

'St. George and the Dragon'
Carved ivory relief
Dominik Steinhart
Germany, 1680-1720
Museum no. A.36-1949

The subject depicted is the legend of St. George and the Dragon. St. George was a legendary warrior, saint and martyr and is the patron saint of England. To the early Christians, a dragon symbolised evil and in particular, paganism. According to myth St. George was said to have fought a dragon by the seashore, outside the walls of a city, in order to rescue the king’s daughter who was being offered as a sacrifice. In this relief, St. George, dressed in armour and mounted on a horse, brandishes his sword. His lance has pierced the dragon's throat.