St. George’s “Dragon”

  In the eyes of Westerners, the image of “dragon” (we temporarily translate it as “dragon” with quotation marks) is always a terrifying demon and monster. It has a huge mouth, fangs, long tongue, sharp claws, scales on its body, wings, and can breathe fire from its mouth. The shape of the “dragon” is similar in all parts of Europe, except that the Russians often describe it as a giant snake or a boa constrictor. The image of “dragon” in the legend of the Illustrated Dictionary of Oxford University Press in 1962 can be used as a typical representative. It is obviously very different from the dragon that our people have respected for thousands of years, and at most it is only partially similar and cannot be confused. A few years ago, the Chinese academic circles had objections to the practice of translating “dragon” in English into “dragon”, which caused widespread debate. But in the end there was no accepted result. In order to avoid confusion, this article still translates “dragon” into “dragon”, just adding quotation marks to show the difference.
  St. George did have a person in history. He was a nobleman, active in the 3rd century AD, and was a Roman soldier. Executed for opposing the slaughter of Christians by the authorities. It is said that when the execution was executed, the sky was furious, lightning flashed and thunder, and the sky changed from bright red blood to golden yellow, which may imply the meaning of the saint’s ascension. In the 10th century, George was deified as the protector of soldiers. Due to the needs of church propaganda, the story of fighting “dragons” began to be widely spread in Europe in the Middle Ages. In order to recruit more believers and to promote the holy miracles of Christianity among the people, the Archbishop of Genoa, Italy, Giacobste Flakin specially wrote the book “The Legend of Gold”. In the book, it is said that once St. George came to Lebbia on horseback Seremban in the province of Seremban (in present-day Turkey). In the lagoon not far from the city, there is a giant “dragon” full of poisonous gas. In order to hunt for food, it often climbed out of the lake, came to the edge of the city, and ate people it saw. Even residents who are not preyed on by it will die once they breathe the poisonous gas of the evil “dragon”. In order to appease this cannibalistic devil, let it fill its stomach and stop harassing the people, the residents throw two fat sheep into the lake every day in exchange for temporary peace. One year, coincided with a rare natural disaster in a century, most of the sheep died, and people couldn’t meet the needs of this demon, so everyone decided to replace it with living people. A sheep and a living person are placed by the lake every day, male or female, and the decision is made by drawing lots. No matter who it is, once the ominous black lottery is drawn, it is obligatory to sacrifice himself and others to feed the evil “dragon”. Unfortunately, one day the bad luck fell on the king’s only daughter, the beautiful young princess. People had to send her along with the fat sheep to the lake, and stay there for the evil “dragon” to eat. The girl had to wait quietly for her death in helplessness and despair. At this time, George happened to pass by this way. Hearing this, he was very angry. He carried a long gun, hung up the red cross symbol representing justice, and rode away to the lake on horseback. At this time, the evil “dragon” was drowsily climbing up the lake shore, ready to feast on the sheep and the princess. George took the opportunity to urge the horse to come forward, and stabbed the evil “dragon” in the mouth. Due to excessive force, the gun body was broken, but the evil “dragon” has been fatally hit and slowly fell to the ground… This story is widely circulated in Europe. It is this scene that is used in the painting. The author is the famous Venetian painter Vittorio Carpaccio during the Italian Renaissance. Painters are best at narrative paintings. His works are vivid in composition, clear in subject matter, easy to understand, and easy to understand at a glance. This was the minimum requirement for church frescoes at that time. Because the believers are mostly illiterate people from the lower classes. Only in this way can the doctrine be better infused into their hearts. A vivid image can make them never forget. Therefore, when the city of Venice After the completion of the Basilica of St. George in the center in 1502, the masters gave the task to Carpaccio to complete two giant paintings of the continuity of George’s life. “George Fighting the Dragon” is one of them, depicting the moment of George’s decisive victory. The vicious “dragon” that was about to fall was in contrast to the galloping horse and George’s powerful leaning body, and the outcome was decided. Only then can the audience breathe a sigh of relief, turn around, turn their eyes to other parts of the picture, and find that it is a land that is almost barren, a hell on earth. There are dead bones of people and sheep and other animals everywhere, even half-eaten corpses. These are the results of years of harm from the evil “dragon”. Behind George, stood a girl in a red shirt with a beaded head. She is kind and beautiful, like the Virgin. Obviously that is the princess who was almost buried in the belly of the “dragon”, and now she is clasping her hands together, as if to express her gratitude to God and her blessing to the hero. In the distance are castles and towers. The balconies around the tower were filled with people who were witnesses to the fight and those who were rescued. A few daring residents ventured to the bridge under the city to watch.
  The content of the next painting is that George turned around, dismounted and walked to the princess, and handed a glowing ring to the princess. It lost all resistance and was led by the princess to the big square in the city center like a little pug to accept the punishment it deserved. People flocked from all directions to witness the upcoming great joyous events, cheering one after another. Eventually people realized that it was a gift from Almighty God, and they joined George’s church. This is also the purpose of painting these two paintings.