The Isabella Breviary

The Isabella Breviary f. 363v, St. George (Apr. 23 - 19th century)

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f. 363v, St. George (Apr. 23 - 19th century)

Twelve-line framed single column miniature of George fighting the dragon. He was a very popular saint in Flanders and images of him fighting the dragon occur very frequently among the memoriae of many books of hours. The usual iconography shows him on horseback thrusting his lance into the dragon’s mouth or throat, while the princess who he is rescuing from the dragon kneels in the background. The story of a dragon who plagued the city of Silena in Lybia and was first placated by being fed sheep, then young men and maidens, and finally the princess rescued by George, is told in the Golden Legend. The iconography in contemporary Flemish art is conventional, save for the pictures in the Huth Hours and the Hours of Joanna of Castile and Philip the Handsome, which show George, having defeated the dragon, dismounted from his horse leading the dragon on a rope toward the princess.331 Among the Flemish breviaries of this period he is represented in the Bourbon Breviary, Brimeu Breviary and Grimani Breviary. There is a partial border of the first category with gold acanthus scrolls and flowers on a green ground.


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