Studies of "Fortitude" and "Purity" for the mosaic "St. George and the Dragon"

Sir Edward John Poynter British, born France

Not on view

Poynter made this drawing around 1869 as he prepared a mosaic centered on St. George for the Central Lobby of the Palace of Westminster. In the finished work, England's patron saint stands over a dragon, accompanied by female figures that represent Fortitude and Purity (Poynter also designed a St. David mosaic symbolizing Wales, but the Ss. Andrew and Patrick panels—relating to Scotland and Ireland—were not installed until the 1920s based on designs by Robert Anning Bell). This sheet of hand studies demonstrates the artist's exacting process, focussing on Fortitude with her emblemmatic club (a symbol inherited from Hercules), and Purity holding the edge of a helmet (derived from St. Paul's exhortation to believers in "Letter to the Ephesians" to “put on the whole armor of God," including the helmet of salvation).

Studies of "Fortitude" and "Purity" for the mosaic "St. George and the Dragon", Sir Edward John Poynter (British (born France), Paris 1836–1919 London), Black and white chalk on brown paper

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