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A man wearing armor, sitting astride a cream-white horse, drives a long lance down at a lizard-like dragon as a woman kneels with her hands in prayer in the landscape beyond in this vertical painting. Both people have pale skin and thin, gold halos floating above their heads. At the center of the composition, the man faces our left in profile as he looks down at the creature. The man has a straight nose and honey-brown hair under his gold-trimmed, pewter-gray helmet. Armor covers his entire body, and a celestial-blue cape billows behind him from where it fastens around his neck. A narrow, indigo-blue and gold band is tied around his left calf, and is inscribed with the word “HONI.” A black sword hangs from his left side. The horse is white with a silvery-white mane and tail. It rears on its hind legs as it turns its head to look at us with hazel-brown eyes. The horse wears a blue saddle and bridle, the same color as the man’s cape, trimmed with gold. A strap around the horse’s neck is painted in gold with the name, “RAPHELLO.” The rider thrusts his foot into the stirrup we can see as he plunges a lance down at the dragon under the horse’s front feet. The dragon has tawny brown skin with a mint green, dog-like head. It grips the earth with clawed feet as at pushes at the lance with one front foot. It twists its long, snake-like neck to look at the man with dark eyes. The dragon opens its pointed snout to show its teeth, and bat-like wings splay out. A tall outcropping over a cave rises along the left edge of the composition, behind the dragon. In a field a little farther back, to our right, the woman kneels with her body angled to our left. She tilts her head away from us and gazes past the man and horse. She has a straight nose, pale pink, bow-shaped lips, and her blond hair is pulled back in a bun. She wears a ruby-red dress and a sheer white wrap around her shoulders and across her arms. Around the woman, straw-yellow hills with bands of pine-green trees roll into the distance. Two terracotta-orange towers rise from a row of trees along the horizon. A few taller trees are outlined against the baby-blue sky, which lightens toward the horizon.

Raphael, Saint George and the Dragon, c. 1506, oil on panel, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1937.1.26

Raphael was an Italian artist who painted all types of things, from portraits to huge murals of scenes from popular myths. In this artwork, Raphael paints the legend of Saint George as a knight who fights a dragon. A princess named Cleo watches in the background, hoping her town will be safe from the dragon. 


Zoom in on one section of the painting and look closely. What details do you notice in your section?

What words would you use to describe the dragon? The horse?

Imagine this painting is a scene in a story. What might happen next? What came before this moment in the story?

If you could add details to this painting, what would you add? Why?

What one word would you use to describe this painting?



Dragons Love Tacos (Spanish language version: Dragones y tacos)

by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri

Dragons love all kinds of tacos - except for spicy ones.


St. George and the Dragon

by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman

This book tells the story of George the knight, who slays a dragon and brings peace to his country.

MAKE: Create a "courage" mask

You will need:

  • Heavyweight paper
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Glue

Think about a time when you felt afraid of something. Everybody has moments when they need to face something scary! Now imagine you could turn into an animal that would make it easier to face your fear. What would that animal be? What about that animal seems brave to you?

Draw a large circle, about the size of your face, on a piece of paper. In the circle, draw your brave animal. Remember to add details that you think are important about that animal. When you’re finished with your drawing, cut out the large circle. Glue a popsicle stick on the back so you can hold the mask up to your face. 


  • courage
  • legend
  • myth
  • portrait

Art Tales: Coloring and Cut-Outs booklet (PDF, 3.5 MB)

Art Tales for Pre-K (PDF, 7.2 MB)

Primeros Pasos En El Arte (PDF, 7.5 MB)

Primeros Pasos En El Arte: Colorear y Recortes (PDF, 3.7 MB)

An Eye for Art: Raphael teaching resource (PDF, 9.4 MB)

Register for the Art Tales pre-K school tour

Send images of your students' projects that follow these activities - email [email protected]