Welcome to Pieter Kat's official LionAid blog. Here you can follow Pieter's opinions, thoughts, insights and ideas on saving lions.
Monday 28th February 2011
To fully appreciate the details of this amazing painting, you need to see it in detail here. Da Messina created this work in about 1474, a time when artists were struggling with the means to put a three-dimensional picture onto a two-dimensional surface. This painting shows St Jerome in his study, translating (and interpreting) existing scripts into a Latin Bible. St Jerome was a bit of a favourite subject among Medieval painters, and always included a lion (small and in shadow on the right in this painting) as St Jerome is related to have risked his life to remove a thorn from a lion’s paw, after which the lion became a faithful friend. The tale is of course allegorical – Jesus was also known as the Lion of Judah, and was crowned with thorns by the Romans.
Perspective was difficult to achieve for artists in the days of da Messina, who inherited a system of painting objects and subjects sized according to their spiritual or thematic importance and not their distance from the viewer. In this picture da Messina relied on a one-point perspective – a single vanishing point – and relied on the technique of the ever decreasing patterns on floors with distance and smaller and smaller arches to create the impression of depth.
This is not meant to be a lesson in art, but rather a lesson in conservation. The lion population is getting ever smaller, while our impression is that the species still has depth. The uninformed perspective is that lions are fine, but they are reaching their vanishing point.
LionAid urges you to maintain your perspective. Join St Gerome and do what you can to aid lions generously.
Posted by Pieter Kat at 22:31
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