Saint George and the Dragon is a cabinet painting from Raphael’s Florentine period. It was created between 1504 and 1506 and was the second St. George painting by Raphael.
The first, done in c. 1504, was part of a Diptych, the other half being St. Michael. These two small paintings were acquired by King Louis XIV from the Mazarin collection and are ever since housed by the Louvre.
The cabinet painting Saint George and the Dragon was acquired by Catherine II of Russia from the Crozat collection in 1772. It was housed by the Hermitage Museum in Petersburg for over a century and a half and was one of the most popular paintings in the collection of the Tsars.
In 1930/31 the Soviets sold about 250 paintings of the Hermitage collection including masterpieces by Jan van Eyck, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens and Raphael. Several of these paintings had been in the collection since its establishment by Catherine the Great. 27 of the paintings including Raphael’s Saint George and the Dragon were sold to Andrew Mellon, who donated them in 1937 to the US government. These paintings became the nucleus of the National Gallery of Arts in Washington, DC.