Artwork of the Month: Saint George and the Dragon

06 May 2021

Every month we highlight an artwork from our hospital art collection...

To celebrate St George’s Day and our namesake, this month we’re highlighting a bronze sculpture of Saint George and the Dragon by Beryl Ellis, displayed at the main entrance of Grosvenor Wing.

What is the artwork about?
The sculpture, dated 1938, depicts the legend of Saint George slaying the dragon. Saint George can be seen on horseback, holding a sword above the dragon after the battle. The dragon’s tail is curled around the plinth and its claws clutch the edge. The style and composition are a nod towards the Art Deco design movement of the time, embracing both tradition and modernity. In 1981 the original model for the sculpture was found by the artist’s niece who kindly gifted it to the St George’s Hospital with the agreement of the Special Trustees, who funded the bronze casting.

Who is the artist?
Beryl Ellis (1910-1981) worked as a radiographer at St George’s Hospital. She was born in West Ham and known for her equestrian sculpture, exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts. Sadly, we know little more about Beryl and her work. If you can help us to improve our knowledge of this artwork we’d love to hear from you. You can submit information to Art UK’s Art Detective page here.

Saint George and the Dragon by Beryl Ellis, Bronze Sculpture, 141cm (h) x 97cm (w) x 43cm (d)

This sculpture is just one of over 800 works of art that make up our hospital art collection. The artworks on public display around the hospital create spaces that are engaging, welcoming and compassionate. Each month we will highlight a new work from the collection.

Arts St George’s is the arts programme for St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, managed and funded by St George’s Hospital Charity.

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