Monday, 12 January 2009

Cry "God for Harry! England and Saint George!"

On Saturday I drove down to the cathedral city of Lichfield, armed with a new lens which I was keen to try out within the demanding environs of the cathedral.

More of the photos I took later because little did I expect to see the life size painting St George and Dead Soldier by Scott Norwood Witts, which is currently touring the nation.

I found the subject unusual and moving, leaving me with several unanswered questions and an appreciation of how important it is to challenge conventional wisdom.

The painting draws attention to the fact that while subsequent myth has portrayed the saint in relation to crusades (religious wars), the earliest traditions about him were as an honourable dissenter against oppression who chose a risky path in challenging the Emperor and paid for it with his life.

As a high ranking soldier of the Roman Empire converting to Christianity was extremely dangerous, yet George’s faith inspired him to put down his weapons and personally confront the Emperor Diocletian over his persecution of Christians.

The artist comments:

“The patron saint of soldiers and England is shown battle weary, identifying another fatality of war - exploding the contrived mythical identity developed during The Crusades, to reveal a man in mourning.

The painting St George and Dead Soldier has been inspired by British Forces overseas and the historical misrepresentation of St George. As patron of soldiers and England, he is representative of both the military and the English people”.

Scott Norwood Witts has previously exhibited at the American Church in London and the Carmelite Friary in Kent. Other commissions have included altarpieces at Dover Castle and the Royal Garrison Church at British Army HQ Aldershot.


  1. This is wonderful! I love this. Thanks so much for sharing. And your new header is fabulous. When I opened your blog, I said, "wow!!"

  2. Is this the same St. George that is often depicted on canvas as slaying the dragon? Definitely a different perspective on the man and a most powerful painting I must say.