TURA, Cosmè
(b. ca. 1430, Ferrara, d. 1495, Ferrara)


Tempera on canvas, 349 x 305 cm
Museo del Duomo, Ferrara

In 1469 the cover of the organ of the Cathedral in Ferrara was painted by Tura. The Annunciation was visible in the closed state of the organ, while in the open state the panel representing St George and the Dragon was shown. The cover of the organ was transferred to the Museum in 1735.

The organ frontal for the Cathedral must serve as an introduction to the painter, although he was about thirty-nine years old when it was finished and obviously a fully formed painter. On one side was an Annunciation and on the other St George and the Princess, now shown on four separate canvases. These works were painted with tempera, although Tura seems frequently to have employed oils as well. They are emotionally charged, full of movement and intense expressionism. In the St George the frightened princess, placed close to the picture plane, moves swiftly to the left of the single canvas she occupies. Her fluttering, irregular draperies with decisive hills and valleys are carefully studied, but they do not follow the structure of her body or even her pose, becoming instead alive and rebelliously independent of the forms they hide.