St George killing the dragon Wood painted in gold, silver and coloured mecca according to the scratch technique Spain, end of the 16th century 135 x 90 cm Provenance: Baron Rothschild collection; ex collection MM. Jean Hie, 1911 A Ballileu et Henry Writes, Lille; private collection, Paris
The San Giorgio is the portrait of the King of Spain Philip II (in office from 1556 to 1598). The sculpture is a tribute to the king, as the artist wanted to depict the Saint George with the effigy of King Philip of Spain, depicted in the armor as a fighter, who kills and stabs the dragon, which he already had with his tail tied the left hind leg of the horse. In fact, the depiction is taken at the moment in which, during the battle with the dragon, St. George pierces him with his spear in the mouth. In this case, the meaning is twofold as it also symbolises the Spanish king's strength in piercing their enemies. It is known that Philip II was an uncompromising Catholic and it was he who defeated the Ottomans in the battle of Lepanto.