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The Raphael Trail

Raphael s St George and the Dragon is the work of a genius an exquisitely rendered vision of heroism and innocence by one of the greatest painters of all time. Yet the painting s creation is only the beginning of a fascinating story that spans centuries of power play and intrigue, taking in a cast of characters both colourful and terrifying. or the young Raphael the painting was an expression of his growing talents and a crucial step in his ascent to the peak of the Renaissance art world. But for a succession of jealous owners it became a symbol of power and prestige. Painted in Italy, St George and the Dragon was sent to England as a gift for Henry VII in exchange for the prestigious knighthood of the Garter, art being traded for honour. The painting then mysteriously disappeared for a century before re-emerging as one of the key works in the great collection of art built up by Charles I, only to be sold when the collection was forcibly broken up after his execution. hen Catherine the Great, a monarch of enormous appetites political, sexual and cultural later heard the painting was again on the market, she dispatched the famous philosopher Diderot to add it to her vast co
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The secret, extraordinary history of one of the world's most desirable pieces of art - Raphael's St George and the Dragon

About the Author

Joanna Pitman read Japanese at Cambridge University and was Tokyo correspondent for The Times from 1990-1994, where she now works as the photography critic. Her first book, On Blondes, was published to considerable acclaim. She lives in London with her family.


"Enthralling piece of detective work...Pitman offers a pithy and chilling insight into the mind of this precocious artist" * The Times * "Fascinating" -- Nigel Farndale * Daily Telegraph * "Art history for the general reader comes no more stylishly packaged than this ... All the characters leap out of the page, and provenance has never been so exciting" * Country Life * "Joanna Pitman tells us something we already suspect to be true, and she does it beautifully" * Spectator * "Riveting ... Provocative ... Travelling undercover, this brunette produced a book which, like its subject, is wonderfully enlightening" -- Allison Pearson * Daily Telegraph *

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