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The Dragon's Trail: The Biography of Raphael's Masterpiece
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The Dragon's Trail: The Biography of Raphael's Masterpiece

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Raphael's St. George and the Dragon is the work of a genius -- an exquisitely rendered vision of heroism and innocence by one of the greatest painters of all time. Yet the painting's creation is only the beginning of its fascinating story, which spans centuries of power play and intrigue, and has made it a witness to the rise and fall of the great powers of the Western wor ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 22nd 2008 by Touchstone (first published 2006)
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Jennyb
Raphael's St George and the Dragon's peripatetic journey to end up in the National Gallery in DC is a hugely interesting tale. The way that tale is told in this book... Well, let's just say that the book doesn't diminish the interest of its provenance, but at times it doesn't contribute hugely to it either. My main gripe is that every person whose hands this painting passed through is characterized the same way: ambitious, greedy and grasping art collectors, slavering after the status this tiny ...more
David Serxner
I wish I could say this was a fantastic book, but I cannot. It is a history of Raphael's masterpiece "St. George and the Dragon" in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. I was up this weekend and bought a damaged copy in the sale rack in the Gallery Bookshop. The book is inexpensive enough, only $25.00 hardcover, which is a nice price. There are no color illustrations, only small details of the Raphael for each new chapter, and no other illustrations of anything else at all. There is no ...more
Carin Marais
In The Dragon’s Trail, Pitman tells the story of a renowned classic masterpiece by one of the Renaissance’s most famous artists. I doubt that anyone can stand in front of (or simply look at a print of) one of Raphael’s paintings without being moved by the beauty and talent of the artist’s brush. His painting, St. George and the Dragon – commissioned in 1506 – was painted when Raphael was only twenty-three years old. But Pitman does not simply tell the story of how it was painted or the reason fo ...more
Chris
Full Review at Booklikes

I am always amazed at how small this painting it is. I’ve seen it plenty of times, but its size surprises me. I always think it should be bigger. But for all its smallness, it is a very impressive painting.



Pitman’s book is a history of the painting, much like the television series Private Life of a Masterpiece (which if you haven’t seen, you should).
Karen
So I just can't finish this book. Partly 'cuz I'm too damn busy and partly 'cuz sometimes I'm just not into it. It's basically the provenance of a Raphael painting. It tells the history of all the different people who owned it over the centuries. There's more about the collectors than there is about the painting. Of course, I knew this when I bought it.
Kristin
I never really thought about the history of ownership of Raphael's St. George and the Dragon, which is odd considering I'm one of the many people who have fallen under it's spell. It is just too bad that this book had to deal with the author's flights of fancy at times. I wish there were citations at the end of the book.
Rita
Very interesting book that makes you think about the history of paintings. As the author said you are told about the artist and style but not about previous owners. I liked the personal info from the author about how she feels about the painting.

This painting is in the National Gallery in Washington DC.
Holly
Perfect book to engage the general reader with art history, perfect for young adult to adult readers with a bit of curiosity about a good story about a little painting making its rounds through history.
Veronica
A very interesting look into the life and history of a painting. The people who owned and sought it, and the political and social changes witnessed by it were fascinating.
Converse
Art History through its buyers. Tells of the migration of Raphael's "St. George and the Dragon" from Italy, to England, France, Russia, and the USA.
Nicole
A really good book about Raphael's St. George and the Dragon. It follows the trail of the painting and most of its owners. A very interesting read!
Stephanie
I'm only in the beginning, but so far I can say the writing is completely dull. Which is too bad, because the story itself is good.
Martha
A nice biography book of a great painting. The author gets a little rambling & redundant sometimes, but I enjoyed it.
Roxie
Total disappointment
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