Thursday, 18 November 2010

Dogs in the Bible ( cont. )

Leonardo da Vinci's self portrait
In the Book of Tobit, included in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox canon of the Bible, but designated as apocryphal in the Protestant tradition, we hear of Tobit, a devout Jew in exile and his son Tobias. Despite his many good works, Tobit is mysteriously blinded and despairingly begs God to take his life. At the same time in Ecbatana one Sarah, who is afflicted by a demon, Asmodeus, that has killed her seven husbands on their wedding night, also asks God for death. God hears both prayers and sends the archangel Raphael to help. Sent by his father on business to the distant city of Media, the young Tobias and his dog are guided by Raphael (in the form of a young man) to the house of Sarah. There Tobias marries Sarah and, following Raphael's instructions, exorcises the demon. They return to his home, where Tobias cures his father's blindness.  The young Tobias and his dog with the angel have been a favourite subject of Christian iconography.


Tobias and the Angel
Find the dog by the Angel's right foot

Tobias and the Angel is painted on wood.  It is believed to be the work of different artists but it is attributed to Perugino who worked in Andrea del Verrochio's workshop in Florence during the 1470's.  Parts of this painting and especially the dog were painted by Leonardo da Vinci who was also a pupil of Verrochio at the time. Look at the dog in Leonardo's self portrait and the dog in the painting.

3 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

Bravo! What sort of dog do you think that is?

Eurodog said...

WW, probably a Bichon. The lap dog par excellence but very intelligent.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Very interesting. Thank you.