Sonia Atlantova | St. George Slaying the Dragon

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SONIA ATLANTOVA
Saint George Slaying the Dragon, 2022
Tempera and gold leaf on wood from AKM cartridge box | 40 x 35cm | 16 x 14 in


The image of a warrior defeating a certain chthonic creature is archetypical for many cultures, and one of the key ones for the Indo-European tradition. In the icon-painting tradition, the Christian martyr saint acquired a number of pre-Christian features, often resembling a certain god, like Perun. Fairy-tale motifs inherent in the classical iconography of George allow us to interpret this image as a symbol of the victory of universal good over evil. The absence in our iconographic version of the image of the princess, as well as her father and other characters, enhances the emblematic symbolism of the image.

 For many in Ukraine, the image of a rider on a white horse, defeating a dragon, is associated with the events of recent months, and then the rider turns into a collective image of the Ukrainian military, liberating his native land, while the dragon becomes a kind of Putin, vicious, nasty, but no longer scary ... .


©
 Sonia Atlantova

Icons on Ammunition Boxes 
From 2015, Ukrainian artists Sonia Atlantova and Olexander Klimenko have been using wooden fragments from ammunition boxes abandoned by Russian soldiers on the battle fields in Ukraine to paint icons and donating all sale proceeds to mobile hospitals that provide urgent medical care to wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in late February, 2022, their work remains more relevant than ever.