St. George
Collectors of Smith-Harrison's early work will recognize St. George as a detail of his 1988 print, Cathedral Church of St. Mark. Commissioned by a parishioner of St. Mark's in Salt Lake City, Utah, that edition has been unavailable for some time. St. George was a detail in the lower center of the print.

Smith-Harrison says that the robustness of the figure of St. George first drew him to this window. Having performed the feat for which he is widely known, St. George stands triumphant, strong, stepping out of the coils of the vanquished dragon. St George, an early Christian martyr, is the patron saint of boy scouts, the kingdom of England and a protector of women.

The tall, narrow dimension of the image area and the brightness of the fields that describe the figure both glorify and restrain the form of the St. George. The human figure, rare in Smith-Harrison's recent work, is rendered dimensionally in contrast to the decorative architectural elements of the window, which are represented as planar.

As the first of a projected series of small prints based on stained glass windows, Smith-Harrison hopes to deepen and broaden his conversation on the artistic intent of the architect. Elements that have been added to this print, the long narrow border with its lance tips and the Ottoman-style ornament at the bottom of the print, are relevant to the ironies and paradoxes that exist both in the story of St. George and in the decorative impulses of the gilded age. Facts about St George are few and his feast day was made optional by reforms in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. He remains, however an important figure in the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox religious and cultural traditions. The secular milieu from which the turn-of-the-century art glass movement arose drew heavily on elements as disparate as Orientalia and Anglophilia for inspiration.

The Cathedral Church of St. Mark houses a number of artistically and historically important stained glass windows, designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Charles Connick. St. George was one of a set of Tiffany windows that were some of the first installed west of the Mississippi. The Cathedral Church of St. Mark maintains an interest in supporting the arts through commissioning elements of its church ornaments.

St. George

Hard ground and Soft ground etching
1 plate
Paper size: 11 1/4 inches X 7 inches
Image size: 6 inches X 2 1/2 inches
Projected Edition of 200


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