“Comparison & Contrast”
Art work can provide excellent opportunities for expression and makes varying impressions on the masses; the beauty is that each experience is genuinely unique. Paolo Uccello (Italian, 1397-1475), created the oil on canvas painting St. George and the Dragon, 1470. Almost five hundred and twenty years later, Uccello’s painting inspired another artist in her own right, Ursula Askham Fanthorpe. Fanthorpe, an English poet, found herself moved by Uccello’s painting and was inspired to write the poem, “Not My Best Side” (1989). The concept of ekphrasis displays how both contrasting mediums can create inspiration individually, as well as the unique experience they can create together, especially in referencing the ambient impression, symbolic variance, an emphasis of the subject matter, and an overall impact on the audience. The oil on canvas painting by Uccello is based on the legendary story “St. George and the Dragon” which took place in Libya, which was the sufficiently exotic locale where a creature like a dragon might be imagined. The name of the city used in the tenth-century Georgian narrative is Lasia, and it is fictional. The fictitious city had a pond that was as large as a lake, and this is where the dragon resided. To appease the dragon, the people of city would need to feed the monster two sheep every day, and when the sheep failed, they would be required to feed it their own children which were chosen by way of lottery. One day, the lot fell on the kings daughter, whose name in various versions of the story was Sabra. The king of the city, distraught with grief and anguish told all of the residence in the city that he would give them all of his gold, silver and half of his kingdom if his daughter was spared; however, the people refused. The daughter dressed up for her own funeral as a bride, which can be seen in the painting, and was sent to the lake to be fed to the dragon. By chance of luck, the knight St. George rode on...
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