3 February 2010

Dragons and Saints at V&A Museum in London

Last Monday, which was February 1st, I spent a few hours at the V&A Museum in London. That wasn't really enough to see all of the new Medieval and Renaissance galleries, but I had a plane to catch back to Amsterdam in the early evening. You will really need a whole day to study the splendid collection of textiles, paintings, sculpture, glass, metalwork, prints, manuscripts, furniture, ceramics and jewellery.

I very much like the concept of telling the story of European art and culture from AD 300–1600; from the decline of the Roman Empire to the end of the Renaissance period, by using not only strictly art pieces from those periods but also everyday objects, design objects and even pieces of building and churches. There is even one of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks to admire!

However of course I was searching for fantasy and fantastic elements in the paintings, drawings, sculptures, stained glass windows and so on. Here some photos with interesting and wonderful pieces from the collection.

St Margaret and the Dragon, about 1530-1540 (from the Church of Saint Germain, France.)
As the legend has it she made a miraculous escape from the belly of the Dragon.

St. George from a church in Ulm (Germany) about circa 1480-1490. This is a figure of St. George in limewood, and carved from one piece of wood. St George was a saint from the East, but as the result of the crusades he became popular throughout Europe. Having rescued a princess by slaying a dragon, he personified the ideals of chivalry and was often depicted with the tamed or dead beast beside him.

By the way, this Dragon doesn't really look enough Dragon -like. It is more a dog-old man figure then a danger dragon. But at the same time it is more original than the St. Margaret's Dragon.

This is an image of a Lamp of a Dragon, from Padua, around 1500.


Wayne Tully said...

Those are fantastically inspirational statues, I would love to draw from them as I would have hours of fun sketching out bits of fantastic art designs, such as the knight and the dragon statue.

I wish they had museums like this over here with inspiring statues and stuff!

Phil's fantasy coloring books said...

Way cool sculptures and interesting combination of Saints and Dragons