A LEOPARD OR A PANTHER? The Pairs of the Stag and the Predator in Vittore Carpaccio's Meditation on the Passion

  •  Atara Moscovich    


The current paper will suggest an interpretation of two pairs of animals featured in Vittore Carpaccio's Meditation on the Passion, i.e., a stag and a predator of the Felidae family, which in one case devours the stag, and in the other – follows it. The paper will attempt to answer the question why did Carpaccio choose to paint the same motif twice, and why in two differing variations?

The aim of this paper is to contribute to the research of the iconography of Job, and to the research on animal symbolism in art, and particularly the ongoing effort to decipher Carpaccio's Meditation on the Passion. Its specific and unique contribution will be to suggest a new interpretation to the peaceful predator, presented on right-hand side in Carpaccio's Meditation, seeing it in a new light – not as a wild animal tamed by a religious transformation, as suggested in previous literature, but rather as an inherently positive one. This reading will be informed by primary sources, which will be connected here with the stag and their predators in Carpaccio's Meditation for the first time.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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