The J. Paul Getty Museum

Saint George

Object Details


Saint George


Dosso Dossi (Giovanni di Niccolò de Lutero) (Italian (Ferrarese), about 1490 - 1542)




Italy (Place Created)


about 1513–1515


Oil on panel

Object Number:



70.2 × 61 cm (27 5/8 × 24 in.)

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Object Description

Dosso Dossi depicts Saint George in the aftermath of his legendary battle with the dragon, wielding the creature's bloodied head and the lance broken during the fight. The victorious saint emerges from the darkness as a rainbow breaks through the storm clouds above. Dossi poignantly expressed his subject's recent emotional turmoil in the saint's penetrating expression. He appears weary yet resolute in his triumph, perhaps relieved that his strenuous battle has come to an end.

A third-century Christian warrior, Saint George was the patron saint of Ferrara, the artist’s native city. The early provenance of this painting is unknown, but the subject may indicate that it was commissioned by a local Ferrarese collector. The wooden staff grasped in the saint’s left hand is inscribed with symbols of Saint George's Christian faith—crosses rendered in vivid strokes of red paint as though the blood of his vanquished foe drips down its shaft. The color of the crosses echoes the blood pooling in the beast's mouth.

- 1969

Private Collection [sold, Versailles, Palais des Congrès, May 29, 1969, lot 238.]
Note: as School of Giorgione

by 1975

Private Collection (New York, New York)

- 1978

Dino Fabbri, 1920 - 2001 (Geneva, Switzerland; New York, New York; Connecticut) [sold, Sotheby's, London, November 1, 1978, lot 22.]

by 1985 -

Eugene Victor Thaw and Co. (New York, New York)

by 1991 -

Harari and Johns, Ltd. (London, England), upon the dissolution of the partnership, retained by Derek Johns, Ltd.

by 1996 - 1999

Derek Johns, Ltd. (London, England) [unsold, Christie's, New York, January 12, 1996, lot 189], sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999.

Five Centuries of Old Master Paintings: An Exhibition (May 3 to June 12, 1991)
  • Harari and Johns, Ltd. (London), 1991
Dosso Dossi: Pittore di corte a Ferrara nel Rinascimento / Dosso Dossi: Court Painter in Renaissance Ferrara (September 26, 1998 to July 11, 1999)
  • Civiche Gallerie d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Ferrara, September 26 to December 14, 1998
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), January 14 to March 28, 1999
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 27 to July 11, 1999

Chapelle, Versailles. Tableaux anciens, tapis d'orient. May 29, 1969, unpaginated, lot 238, ill.

Mezzetti, Amalia. "Un inedito del Dosso e qualche precisazione." Paragone 26, no. 303 (May 1975), pp. 11-21, fig. 11, pl. 1.

Sotheby's, London. Highly Important Old Master Paintings Chiefly of the Italian Schools of the XIV, XV & XVI Centuries and of the French and Italian Schools of the XVIII century, also Paintings of the Dutch, Flemish and Spanish schools. November 1, 1978, unpaginated, lot 22, ill.

Sotheby's advertisement. Apollo 108, no. 200 (October 1978), p. 215, ill.

Five Centuries of Old Master Paintings, exh. cat. (London: Harari & Johns, 1991), unpaginated, no. 5, ill.

Fage, Gilles, ed. Le siècle de Titien: L'âge d'or de la peinture à Venise, exh. cat. (Paris: Grand Palais, 1993), pp. 416-19, under no. 80.

Ballarin, Alessandro. Dosso Dossi: La pittura a Ferrara negli anni del ducato di Alfonso I. 2 vols. (Padua: Bertoncello artigrafiche, 1994), vol. 1, p. 333, no. 423, pl. CLXIX; vol. 2, fig. 623, jacket cover.

Christie's, New York. Important Old Master Paintings (Part I). January 12, 1996, pp. 282-83, lot 189, ill.

Humfrey, Peter, and Mauro Lucco. "Dosso Dossi in 1513: A Reassessment of the Artist's Early Works and Influences." Apollo 147 (February 1998), p. 28.

Humfrey, Peter, and Mauro Lucco. Dosso Dossi: Court Painter in Renaissance Ferrara, exh. cat. Andrea Bayer, ed. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Harry N. Abrams, 1998), pp. 106-7, no. 8, ill.; p. 197, under no. 35; p. 228, under no. 43, entries by Peter Humfrey; p. 236, entry by Mauro Lucco; p. 283.

Penny, Nicholas. Review of Dosso Dossi: Court Painter in Renaissance Ferrara. Ferrara, New York, Los Angeles. Burlington Magazine 141, no. 1153 (April 1999), p. 251.

Vogel, Carol. "Inside Art: [...] A Certain Dosso." The New York Times [New York] (January 15, 1999).

Prose, Francine. "'Dosso Dossi' at the Met." The Wall Street Journal [New York] (January 20, 1999).

Barry, Quan. Controvertibles (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004), p. 23, cover ill.