Friday, December 28, 2007

St. Georg fighting the dragon

Click here for large size version

The bronze statue "St. Georg fighting the dragon" was made around 1851-55 and nowadays can be seen in the Nikolai Quarter of Berlin; originally it was located at the Berliner Stadtschloss, which was bombed to ruins in World War II.

The statue depicts in a naturalistic way the brave St. Georg fighting a dragon, retelling thus a rather popular Christian legend. The dragon usually is identified as "The Devil". and St. Georg fights him to release a King's daughter - not to marry her, but to make it possible for her to be christened properly. No wonder that St. Georg, the pure and brave, was one of the most popular Christian saints!

The statue was made by the German sculptor August Kiss (see the inscription at the leftmost part of the pic), whose first famous work also depicted a fight scene, a panther fighting with an Amazon on her horse.

Kiss worked in neo-classical style and very detailed, and since the statue of St. Georg was made near the end of his career and life, it shows his remarkable skills in sculpting an action laden scene like this. A life size plaster version of this statue won August Kiss a bronze medal at the world exhibition in Paris 1855.

The notes for this exhibition in Paris made clear that a the statue needed room - at least 11 meters to all sides were deemed necessary to give the onlooker a good view of it Sadly nowadays the statue resides in a rather cramped space, making it almost impossible to take a good photography of it without introducing too much of the very near and rather high houses in the background - very easy to see here in an animated tour around the statue:

Okay, a challenge is a challenge, and after pondering all possibilities I finally settled for a multi viewpoint / "reverse pano" approach in an attempt to show clearly the fine detail and action depicted so masterfully with this very three dimensional sculpture. ;-)

One last thing: If you wonder why St. Georg fights the dragon with his bare right hand - originally he didn't, he held a sword in this hand, but it got lost over the decades.

So enjoy St. Georg and his gripping fight with the dragon! And get out the popcorn - because this is a looong pic to travel! :-) BTW: If you missed the link directly beneath the small image on top of this post - no need to scroll back, just click here!