The Dragon's Trail takes readers on a time-traveling trip from the commissioning of Raphael’s St. George and the Dragon by Duke de Montfeltro, who ruled Urbino in 1506, to the circuitious journey of the painting to its final home at The National Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Stops along the way include possession by King King Henry VII of England, after which it disappeared for a time. Royalty from King Charles I to Catherine the Great then owned it, and the Russian Revolution allowed Joseph Stalin to sell it to an unscrupulous U.S. treasury secretary who mitigated himself somewhat by opening the National Gallery where St. George and the Dragon now resides.
Joanna Pitman’s attention to detail in her historical research is astonishing. The pacing of the story makes this a fascinating read and provides a history lesson at the same time. Anyone who loves art and/or history will definitely enjoy this book.