Saturday, July 2, 2016

St. Dominic and the Demon

By a Flemish painter known as "the Master of James IV of Scotland," c. 1510-1520. St. Dominic is trying to study, but the devil has sent a demon to distract him. Perhaps he should have sent a more serious adversary? This one looks like the golden retriever of pet dragons. Meanwhile, Dominic's faithful dog is attempting to help by holding up a torch, an allusion to a dream Dominic's mother had, that a dog would come forth from her womb with a torch in its mouth. From the Getty.


leif said...

I always find it amusing to see how people imagine evil things, and how they are always derivative of things they've actually seen.

David said...

Being able to imagine things that no one has ever seen is pretty rare--so rare that perhaps one should be cautious about finding amusement in (or at the expense of?) those who fail to do it.

I'm reminded of Lovecraft's tendency to say his monsters were "indescribable," "unnameable," "beyond human thought," etc. When he did try to describe them, he too fell back on the traditional grotesque and various combinations of tentacles, suckers, weirdly-placed cataracted eyes, and so forth. But people still read him and talk about him.

Anyway, I love this image of Dominic and his demon. The demon seems to be thinking, "How the hell do I tempt this guy? Why couldn't they send someone else?!"