Tuesday, 12 April 2011

St. Jerome and the what now?

For those of you who don’t know, St. Jerome was a 4th century priest and scholar, who translated the Bible into Latin. There’s also a very popular medieval story that tells of Jerome removing a thorn from a lion’s paw, leaving the beast forever indebted to him, which is what brings him to our blog today.

One of the main signifiers of Jerome in art is the lion, in addition to a long white beard, and a book. Academic and lion-tamer: that’s what you get from these paintings.

A fine example is the one below:

Rogier Van der Weyden, St. Jerome, 1460 (?).

And we see immediately why Jerome is considered a saint. The reaction of anyone else confronted with that “lion” would be "Kill it! Kill it with fire!”

I can’t even begin to analyze what’s wrong with this lion, because I’m too busy cowering under the bed, terrified it’s going to come after me in my sleep.

But probably the most important factor to note is: holy shit, it has the face of a man.

Let’s just take a moment to remember what a LION looks like at this point:

…yeah. Better luck next time, Rogier.


  1. Fucking looser.

    Go look at a real lion you looser!

  2. He (the lion,) looks more like my rather hirsute neighbor than a lion. Hmmmm, good thing they were not sketch artists for the police or my neighbor would end up dead or in a zoo!