Dragons, generally characterised as large and ferocious serpent-like creatures, appear in the mythology (and thus the artwork) of almost every cultural tradition across the globe. Chinese lore associates dragons with deities and emperors, and they are accordingly seen as symbols of good fortune. However, in most other cultures, dragons are seen as creatures to be feared, and thus overpowering a dragon becomes the ultimate hallmark of divine or heroic power, which made for a popular scene to be displayed in visual art. Examples of this include the Egyptian gods Ra and Set defeating the serpent Apep; the Greek hero Heracles slaying the hydra; Yahweh destroying the sea-dragon Leviathan; or of course, Saint George’s famous battle with a dragon.

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