What looks at first glance to be a fantasy genre painting turns out to be a much deeper subject. This original was executed using the time-proven classical technique of layering oils and varnishes along with amazing brush strokes, great composition and strong value definition! On further inspection, I then noticed how the Knight facing the dragon with his sword drawn in shear defiance was defending the damsel in distress to the death facing incredible odds as the imposing dragon appears out of the fog. It is the story of St. George fighting the Great Dragon (Satan). "Great" meaning in this context terrible, shear darkness and all the horrors of evil; yet the Knight is defending the damsel representing all of humanity with his life. The sword and the shield represent the word and the power of God. In the end, St. George will defeat the dragon, but the magic of this painting captures the moment of confrontation perfectly as he gets into battle stance while the terrified princess struggles with her chains - a metaphor of sin that traps us in this world. In the end, we are free from sin and are protected from evil and darkness as long as we embrace the sword and shield of God. Donato's other works all have equal strengths in each painting as he approaches each commission and job with the same fervor and determination with incredible skills. Take a look at his website and gallery and you will fall in love with his work! Simply awe inspiring! Along with being on the world's top illustrators and painters, he teaches fine art and sci-fi illustration at the New York School of Visual Arts. Wish I could take his classes, but the good news is that he does sell 2 instructional dvds demonstrating his painting techniques in full start to finish detail! I have them both and highly recommend them if you want to grow as an artist exponentially! Donato's inspirations are Titian, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Rembrandt to the more recent pre-raphealite painters. See for yourself!