In the midst of all the wonderful art in the world we study, there is some truly bad art that has somehow weaseled its way into fame. Why? Is it because the artist was famous? Everyone has off days. I love going through art history classes and seeing some truly ugly pieces that have etched themselves in history. They may be slightly off, but boy have they burned themselves on my memory. Maybe that's why they're so famous!
Paulo Uccello's Saint George and the Dragon dating from about 1470 is possibly one of the worst depictions of a dragon I have ever seen.
Just look at that guy! By some cruel caprice of mother nature, he doesn't even have front legs! She's even holding him on a little leash and both of them look pretty calm about the dragon being impaled in the nose. Saint George looks like a school boy. I just can't even deal with how much I dislike this ridiculous painting. Is that a shrubbery on the ground behind them? Ugly.
When I saw it in the National Gallery in London it only confirmed in my mind how stupid it is. Every time I have seen this, whoever is presenting it goes on for a while about what Uccello was trying to depict. All I get out of this is a good giggle.
In utter contrast I love Uccello's Battle of San Romano about 1438-1440
One of 3 paintings, this also hangs in the National Gallery in London. I love how the gold leaf really shines in this piece although the silver leaf used on the armor has oxidized and is a bit black now.