Here be dragons

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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.

Welcome to the Here be Dragons Gallery. The aim of this gallery is to start a revolution in the modern fine art world to bring back the dragons. Dragons have been depicted in counties around the world from the beginning and often symbolized strength and power. Dragons have been prevalent in art since the Sumerians first used written language. The first known writings, the Sumerian tablets, often focus on their gods and included the first stories of dragon slaying. One of their gods was Zur; Zur was often depicted as a dragon or riding a dragon. Around the same time in China the Neolithic people were creating pig-dragons carved from Jade. Artists since then have depicted dragons in arguably every type of medium to date. No one knows for sure what first inspired such widespread dragon themes but religion played a large part in keeping them alive in fine art throughout history. While historical art depicting dragons is considered fine art, the more modern representations of dragons today are classed as Fantasy art, a term that is mostly considered derogatory when compared to fine art. I suggest we start changing the dragon’s second class status by celebrating the many depictions of dragons throughout the world, and throughout history. Let’s remind the critics of the importance of dragons as a large part of fine art, art with deeper meanings.

The dragon depicted here is the Babylonian supreme god Marduk. This archway was important for its use in religious celebrations that included the archway in its processions to the temple district.
Ornament in the form of a dragon, 206 B.C.E.-220 C.E., From the collection of: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
This dragon represents the use of Bronze metalwork to depict dragons from as far back as the Han dynasty, unfortunately, not much else is known about the piece.
Figure of a dragon, -1/1, From the collection of: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
This dragon caught my attention because the stone is carved fully in the round and showcases the use of positive and negative spaces. Again, because of its age not much else is known about the piece.
Saint Michael Battling the Dragon, Unknown, probably 1170s, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
This is a dragon depicted on a manuscript page featuring tempera colors, gold leaf, silver leaf, and ink on parchment as part of a religious themed story.
Rofeno Abbey Poliptych. Saint Michael the Archangel slaying the Dragon between Saints Bartholomew and Benedict; Madonna with Child, Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Ludwig of Tolouse (in the cusps);, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, 1330 - 1335, From the collection of: Fondazione Musei Senesi
A polyptych is a triptych with more than three panels. The religious story depicted here shows Saint Michael slaying the dragon described in the Apocalypse and inspired many future painters.
Saint George Killing the Dragon, Bernat Martorell (Spanish, about 1400–1452), 1400/52, From the collection of: The Art Institute of Chicago
This tempera painting was probably once the center of an altar piece in the chapel of Catalan where Saint George is the patron saint. Saint George is known for slaying the dragon to save a princess.
Saint Margaret, Bohemian Artist, between 1410 and 1415, From the collection of: Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
Saint Margaret slaying her dragon of temptation stands out because its overall style and the use of the S-postured court style stance is how it was officially dated.
This Equestrian statue features Hector returning home after defeating Hercules. The patron’s official family symbols, the lion and the dragon, are displayed proudly on Hector’s saddle and breastplate.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
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