Saints, serendipity & Green Lion

A post about lions, saints, serendipity, London, scale models, art, insomnia and my novel Green Lion.



Antonello da Messina, Saint Jerome in his Study, c. 1475.

I’ve always loved this painting, with the shy little lion in the background – it was one of the inspirations for Green Lion. I saw it at the National Gallery the first time I came to London as a teenager, and the postcard I bought of it then is still on my wall in Cape Town.

I can’t seem to go to sleep tonight, so was browsing through the Antonellos online when I saw this wonderful thing:

photo: The London Art File


soundscape large
photo: archives de l’imaginaire

This is a 3D model recreating the interior of Antonello’s painting, by sound and installation artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller (2015). The piece was in last year’s Soundscapes show at the National Gallery (which I missed because I was in Cape Town, launching Green Lion): “Looking through an opening, a miniature world is revealed complete with tiny objects on Jerome’s shelves and windows giving views on a landscape. Voices, birdsong and footfalls can be heard all around.”

The model reminded me of this:

photo: Eden Morfaux

Raphael Zarka, Studio, after Antonello da Messina, 2008. I came across this image a few years ago when I was researching Green Lion i.e. randomly Googling pictures of lions etc, and thought it was cool. Now, searching for this photo again at 2am for no particular reason, I stumble on the fact that Zarka is in a group show opening this very Saturday in London, where I happen to be once again. I believe I shall go.

I am still not sleepy.

Also, would quite like a desk like that.

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