Product Focus: Saint George & the Dragon by Jacopo Tintoretto

In our latest Product Focus, we take a look at a classic pocket square from our collection: Saint George and the Dragon by Jacopo Tintoretto. 

Within the post, we'll explore the history of the artist and the painting as well as looking at the finer details within the piece. We will also look at why this painting was unusual for its time and finish off with some of our favourite folds for you to try. 

VIEW THE PRODUCT: Saint George and the Dragon


Saint George and the Dragon is a 1555 or 1558 painting by the Venetian artist Jacopo Tintoretto. The artwork depicts Saint George slaying the dragon by plunging his lance into the mouth of the beast. 

According to legend, the dragon inhabited the lake outside the city of Lydda in the Holy Land. After terrorising the land and destroying the local harvest, the local townspeople were forced to supply it with victims chosen by lot. At the forefront of the piece is a lady seen running in distress. It is revealed to be the daughter of the King, dressed in bridal wear, and escaping after being presented to the dragon as its next victim. Saint George arrives just in time to save the princess and slay the dragon with his lance.

Did you know? The body of the last victim lies on the ground as if crucified. It is believed that it is possibly a warning that his death would be avenged. 

Although the painting was intended for use as a public altarpiece, it is thought it may always have been kept in a more domestic setting, probably a private chapel. The reason for this is that paintings from around this era needed the Saint or Holy figure as the centrepiece of the painting. As Saint George is relatively distant in the background, it is believed it would have been seen as unsuitable for public worship. If the painting was indeed made as an altarpiece for a church in Venice, it must have been quickly removed from its location or never accepted, as it is not listed in Venetian historical records.


Tintoretto's work was unusual for its time. The viewers eye is drawn to the foreground where the Princess, in her royal pink and blue marital gown, is running from the scene, while Saint George is reduced to a background character. The flowing gown and the princesses swift run towards the viewer mixed with Saint George's horse and his flowing cloak are used to symbolise how frantic the scene is.

At the very top of the image, we see thunderous clouds pierced by blinding beams of light. This is used to symbolise God helping Saint George in his time of need and his ultimate mission to kill the dragon. The artwork is split into two distinct styles, the calm nature of the heavens and the commotion and chaos of the scene on the ground. 

A body is seen to lie between the princess and Saint George, and it is thought to the be the last sacrifice given to the dragon by the townspeople. The body lies in a manner reflective of being crucified, and it is believed to have the symbolic meaning of his death being avenged by Saint George. 

Tintoretto's painting is believed to emphasise the overall message that prayers to God would be answered. Saint George prayed for help from God and he seems to have received it, with the light breaking out of the clouds at the precise moment Saint George thrusts the lance into the dragon. 


Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-1594); born Jacopo Robusti; was an Italian painter that identified with the Venetian school. His work primarily revolved around muscular figures, dramatic gestures and a bold use of perspective, in the Mannerist style. Tintoretto was the nickname given to Jacopo meaning "Little dyer" (the occupation of his father) or "dyers boy".

Did you know? Tintoretto was nicknamed "Il Furioso", meaning 'The Furious', for the speed and boldness of his brushwork. 

Little is known of his childhood. He is believed though to have had his only internship with Titian, considered the most important artist of the Venetian period. However, it is thought he was dismissed after only a few days. Although admiring Titian and his work, Titian actively disparaged Tintoretto, as did his adherents. Tintoretto didn't seek guidance from any other major artists of this time and instead studied on his own. He gained experience during this time from artisans who decorated furniture, and studied anatomy by drawing live models and dissecting cadavers. 

In 1548, Tintoretto was commissioned to paint a large decoration for the Scuola di S. Marco, a confraternity within the city, and he recognised this as the time to establish himself as a major artist. Miracle of the Slave represented the legend of a Christian slave or captive who was to be tortured as punishment for acts of devotion to the evangelist, but was saved by the miraculous intervention of the latter, who shattered the bone-breaking and blinding implements which were about to be applied. Tintoretto's conception of the narrative is distinguished by a marked theatricality, unusual colour choices, and vigorous execution.

(Miracle of the Slave, 1548)

From this work Tintoretto found great success, and he went on to be commissioned for yet more work and begin to stamp his mark on the era. His biggest piece and the crowning production of his life was Il Paradiso. A massive oil painting on canvas which depicts a heavenly scene of various religious figures. Tintoretto worked tirelessly to finish the piece, taking inspiration from real life subjects. Many assistants and predominantly his son were tasked with aiding in completing the work. 

(Il Paradiso, 1588–1594)

Did you know? Many of Tintoretto's works were too vital to their location or too large in size to relocate to other exhibits, which is why many of them remain based in Venice, Italy.


Our Saint George and the Dragon Pocket Square has many beautiful shades and hues which can be manipulated to your liking to create the perfect complement to the outfit. The pink and blues in the gown can be shown or hidden to your liking, while the border creates the perfect showpiece in certain folds. Overall this pocket square works beautifully with a dark jacket to perfectly finish an outfit.

How you fold a pocket square determines whether it adds a subtle accent, or is a flamboyant addition of colour which becomes the focal point of your outfit. 

We have created step-by-step videos on our website to demonstrate how to achieve different folds and looks. Below are two of our favourite folds for this square.

Read Further: How to Fold A Pocket Square Guide

1. The Puff Fold
The Puff Fold is not only one of the most popular folds but also one of the simplest to master. The classic style is to adjust it till it forms a semi-circle above your pocket, but the very nature of the Puff Fold means you can be creative with the final look.

2. The Reverse Puff Fold
The Reverse Puff is a flamboyant fold that is quite straightforward to master. It works best when there are contrasting colours in the border design. As this is a fold for a more casual environment, we recommend that you have the peaks a good height above the pocket

The design of this fold lends itself particularly well to a dark muted suit and serves to add a flair of individuality to an otherwise plain outfit, and gives that little extra touch of class to a formal event.

If you prefer visuals over written text, then you are in luck as our YouTube channel has a dedicated Pocket Square Fold Series covering all the classic folds you can use on this pocket square and any others within our collection

View the Product: Saint George and the Dragon

Watch Now: Pocket Square Folds Series

Read Further: Product Focus Journal Series

What Makes Our Pocket Squares So Special?

1. We use the finest mulberry silk with our silk pocket squares and linings. The quality of the fabric can be seen in the texture and the level of detail and vibrancy of the finished product. All our silks are printed in Macclesfield, England, an area renowned for silk printing for the past 200 years.
2. We take the utmost care in printing our silk pocket squares and linings which results in truly remarkable levels of detail. Faces, objects and colours are sharp and well defined to give a truly stunning finish. We also take exceptional care with the colour bleed, so the print is almost as crisp on the back as it is on the front, allowing for an unlimited number of folds to a pocket square.
3. The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each square its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.
4. We believe that 40cm is the minimum size for a high quality pocket square. Any smaller and it will slide down inside your pocket with any movement of your jacket, while it limits the number of folds you can achieve as there is not enough volume to hold it in place. It goes without saying we would never advocate any form of pocket square holder. All our pocket squares are either 42cm x 42cm or 40cm x 40cm.