C900: St George and the Dragon
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© The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath
|Title||St George and the Dragon|
|Object type||In category: Sculpture » Statuettes|
|Date||Between 1635 and 1640|
Attributed to Fanelli, Francesco (Italian sculptor, active ca. 1608-1661) - Sculptor(s)
|Place of origin||Europe » Northern Europe » British Isles » Great Britain » England|
22.6 cm height whole
21.5 cm width whole
13.0 cm depth whole
|Materials & techniques||
|Description||Small bronze statuette of St George and the Dragon. St George is on horseback. He wears a classical cuirass and helmet and raises a lance in his right hand. The horse is rearing on its hind legs over the winged dragon. On a rectangular base. The dark brown patina retains remnants of the original black lacquered finish.|
|Marks and inscriptions||
This group was modelled and probably cast by the Florentine-born sculptor Francesco Fanelli (active ca. 1608-1661). This is a relatively rare version of the model that shows the dragon almost dead (or 'prone'). It was probably made the 1630s or 1640s. Fanelli is recorded in England from 1635-41. He received a pension from Charles I and he later described himself as 'Sculptor to the King'. He also counted several prominent courtiers among his patrons. A number of versions of this model are known: The keeper of Charles I's collections, Abraham van der Doort (d..1640), listed 'a little S George on horseback wth a dragon by, beeing of brass upon a black ebbone wooden Peddistal' by 'the One eyed Italian ffransisco' in Charles I's Cabinet Room at Whitehall Palace. It is tempting to suggest that this is a reference to C900.
The statuette is typical of Fanelli's fluid style. It is not especially crisply defined and has a lack of afterwork. The composition is derived from a painting by Raphael that had been in the collection of Charles I and is now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington (1937.1.26). The painting was engraved by Lucas Vosterman (1595-1675) in 1627.
St George was the a patron saint of England and of the Order of the Garter. The same composition was used on a number of Garter badges made for Knights of the Garter.
Three patches of lead solder could indicate that the base was originally for another statue but was adjusted for this one.
John Pope-Hennessy 'Some Bronze Statuettes by Francesco Fanelli, Burlington Magazine, May 1953, p.161
|Muse theme||The Art of Collecting
The History of the Holburne Collection » The Collection » Sculpture
|Method of acquisition||Bequest|
|Provenance||Sir William Holburne (1793-1874); by whom bequeathed to Mary Anne Barbara Holburne (1802-1882); by whom bequeathed to the Museum|
Title of exhibition: Holburne One hundred: an exhibition to commemorate the Centenary of the Museum’s opening and the Bicentenary of Sir William Holburne’s birth
Title of exhibition: The Beauties of Bath: the Holburne Museum Revealed
Title of exhibition: Town House Treasures; Sir Thomas William Holburne of Bath