"St. George Statuette - The Excess of the Reliquary" by DeAnna Robinson

The Statuette of St. George (1586-97) is one of the many treasures located within the treasury at the Munich Residenz. Commissioned by Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria in 1586, the statuette was made to contain a relic of St. George and was sent from the Duke’s brother, Archbishop Ernst of Cologne. As a reliquary, the statuette was constructed to convey the story of St. George Slaying the Dragon. St. George was a soldier in the Roman army who was later revered as a Christian martyr and is highly respected. The Eastern Orthodox depiction of the story interprets the dragon as both Satan and the monster of St. George’s life story. The Western version interprets St. George rescuing the princess of Selene from being offered to the dragon and he slays it with the protection of the cross. As a result, the citizens abandon Paganism and convert to Christianity. This paper explores the tension between the statuette as a testament to an unyielding worship towards Saint George and the unavoidable admiration of the extensive wealth with which the reliquary is infused.

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