Solomon J. Solomon, R.A. 1860 - 1927
St George
Photo: R.A./John Hammond
© Out of copyright
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St George, ca. 1906
Oil on canvas, 2130 X 1062 mm
Diploma Work given by Solomon J. Solomon, R.A., accepted 1906
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Solomon J. Solomon's artistic training included periods at Heatherley's Art School, the Royal Academy Schools, the Munich Academy and Ecole des Beaux-Arts as well as nine months in the Paris atelier of Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889). He went on to have a successful career as a portraitist and painter of historical, biblical and romantic scenes.

When Solomon was elected a Royal Academician in 1906, he was the second Jewish artist after Solomon Alexander Hart, to become an Academician. Some biographers have suggested that by selecting the subject of 'St. George' for his Diploma work, Solomon was self-consciously asserting his English patriotism. The subject however was a popular one particularly after the Boer War (1899-1902) when images of chivalric gallantry were well received by the English public.

Solomon's painting depicts St. George slaying the dragon and carrying a maiden out of its claws to safety. The model for the saint was Solomon's younger brother Albert. Solomon creates a swirling composition with the maiden's dress and the dragon both encircling the figure of St. George. The artist's interest in the work of Rubens and Velasquez is demonstrated through the broad brushwork and brown-grey colouring with its red and gold accents.

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