Decoding the Human Canvas is our series where we analyze the meaning behind profound pieces of large-scale body art. This time we're basking in the glory of a depiction of Saint George and the Dragon made to look like a stained glass window. Be sure to check out some of our previous installments about Raijin and Fujin, The Fall of the Angels, Leda and the Swan, maritime symbolism, and Christ’s crucifixion.
The most well known account of Saint George and the Dragon comes from a 13th century collection of hagiographies by Jacobus da Varagine called the Golden Legend. The story goes something like this: there was once a place called Silene on top of a mountain in Libya. Not very far from the city was a lake, and in its waters, lived a vile dragon that plagued the countryside. Sick and starving, the villagers attempted to appease the beast with offerings, but when they ran out of sheep, they resorted to feeding their own children to the dragon.
It’s no wonder that this tale of chivalry and righteousness has stood the test of time, enduring ever since the Medieval Period. It’s one of the most memorable metaphors for the merits of faith ever invented, and because of the power of its message, artists will doubtlessly continue to depict Saint George triumphing over the evil serpent, in stained glass and body art alike, for thousands of years to come.
To see more of Romanowicz’s work, make sure to check out his Instagram. If you’re interested in getting a piece by him, he owns and operates out of Inkspiracy Tattoo & Art Gallery in Bielsko-Biała, Poland and can be contact via the shop’s Facebook for appointments.