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THE MARTYRDOM OF ST. GEORGE.
There are few particulars to be collected relative 10 St. George; the circumstance of his martyrdom has furnished the subject of this composition.
St. George, upon his knees, is insensible to the exhortations of the high priest of Apollo, who solicits him to renounce christianity, and to worship his false divinities. An executioner, sword in hand, appears to wait with impatience the moment in which he is to fulfil his ministry. A colleague places the saint, who makes no resistance, in a position for receiving his punishment. Several warriors, companions in arms of St. George, amongst whom two knights are distinguished, behold with astonishment the resignation of the martyr, to whom an angel presents a crown and a branch of palm. In the heavens the Virgin and the infant Jesus are visible, witnessing the courage of St. George; near them are St. Peter and St. Paul. Faith, Hope, and Charity, distinguished by their attributes, recommend the holy warrior to divine assistance. Groups of angels and of cherubim form a concert, vocal and instrumental.
This picture, the figures of which are of the first proportion, ornamented the principal allar of the church dedicated to St. George, at Verona. The figure of the saint is dignified and correct; and, in point of drawing, that of the chief executioner highly characterized; and the superior groups are remarkable for the grace and variety of their attitudes. The execution is admirable; it is neither laboured nor overcharged; every thing seems to be accomplished at the first touch, with a richness of tones, a force of sentiment, which are only to be looked for in the works of Paul Veronese. This master is eminently distinguished for simplicity of colouring. It is, however, to be remarked, as a defect in this beautiful performance, that considerable confusion prevails in the bottom of this composition, and that some part of it appears not sufficiently studied.