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Saint George and the Dragon Giovanni Francesco Rustici


Giovanni Francesco Rustici Florence 1474 – 1554 Tours

Culture Italian
Date ca. 1515
Object type relief
Medium, technique marble

29 × 48 × 4 cm, 14 kg
with frame: 45 × 64 × 7.5 cm

Inventory number 1138
Collection Sculpture
On view Museum of Fine Arts, Second Floor, European Sculpture 1350-1800, Gallery 2

Although Giovan Francesco Rustici did not have any formal apprenticeship, his Preaching of Saint John the Baptist over the northern gate of the Florence
Baptistery is a masterpiece that ranks him among the greatest Italian sculptors. The Budapest shallow relief (rilievo schiacciato) was inspired by Donatello’s
(1386/1387−1466) work of the same subject dating from a century before, while Rustici borrowed some of its details from paintings by Paolo Uccello (ca. 1397−1475) and Sandro Botticelli (1444 or 1445−1510), and evoked antiquity by including the Pantheon. The rearing horse of Saint George reflects Leonardo’s (1452−1519) invention, exemplified by the famous bronze Horse and Rider in Budapest. These sophisticated references were principally addressed to humanists from the sculptor’s circle.


Balogh, Jolán, Katalog der ausländischen Bildwerke des Museums der bildenden Künste in Budapest, IV – XVIII. Jahrhundert: 1. Textband Bd. 1, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1975, p. 114-115., no. 144.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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