SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This relief of St. George slaying the dragon to save a Princess from being sacrificed is by the sculptor Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi, known as Donatello (1386-1486). It was commissioned by the Arte dei Corazzai e Spadai, the Armourers' and Sword Makers' Guild of Florence, and was placed in a niche on the exterior of the Church of Orsanmichele in Florence in 1417. It is the oldest known example of the "rilievo stiacciato" style, or shallow relief carving, for which Donatello was the leading exponent. It also is considered to be the oldest representation of linear perspective in the early Renaissance revived by the work of Filippo Brunelleschi, a close associate of Donatello. In this sculpture the receding orthogonal lines of the portico on the right and the dragon's cave on the left converge to a central single vanishing point to create the illusion of depth.
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