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To the early Christians a dragon symbolised evil. The conversion of a heathen country to Christianity by a saint would thus be depicted in symbolic form, as slaying a dragon with a spear. Saint George was shown in this manner to signify the conversion of Cappadocia (now part of Turkey) to Christianity. A maiden often personified Cappadocia. The story was later adapted and Saint George was said to have fought a dragon, outside the walls of a city, in order to rescue the king’s daughter who had been offered to the dragon as a sacrifice.
oil on canvas
134.3 x 98 cm
bequeathed by the Founders, 1885
The Bowes Museum
Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP EnglandView venue
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