No. 188. Jerome in His Study. He had begun collecting spaces--representations (either in paintings, photographs or in writing) of those places that made him feel secure, focused, expansive and content. He was continually enriched in this long meditation by his decades of reading and rereading Gaston Bachelard--his The Poetics of Space (1964) in particular.

He was always cognizant, in his searches, of the difficulty, for example, of what Bachelard refers to as making the inside of a space concrete and keeping the outside vast. In his architectural daydreaming, he longed, for example, for a cell-like space which was nevertheless not a confinement. He sought a place that nourished what poet Paul Eluard once called "the solemn geographies of human limits."

One of the spaces he loved--a fictive one--was the Saint's library in the painting St. Jerome in His Study by Antonello da Messina (1430-1479). An enclosure within an enclosure, Jerome's study is depicted here not so much as a room as a stage. Jerome has company in his orisons: a partridge, a peacock, a cat and of course, way over at the right, almost lost in shadow, his iconic lion--the one from whose paw, Jerome once thoughtfully removed a thorn.

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