Saint Jerome & the √2

Once again Leonardo is in the news so we’re going to take advantage of this opportunity. Saint Jerome Praying in the Wilderness is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Fingerprints on the panel give us a chance to see an unfinished work attributed to Da Vinci.  Plate 1 

Plate 1
Plate 1

 

As the work is unfinished it’s also an opportunity to take a closer look at the design. Depending on the source, the oil on walnut panel is around 103 or 104cm x 74 or 75cm. Did he yet again choose a curious ratio (1:1.4) for this panel? Keep in mind the painting start date is 1482.

Plate 2-  Shows the 2 Primary Diagonals and Reciprocals with the centerlines.  

Plate 2
Plate 2

 

Plate 3- Shows the 2 subdivisions. Notice how many horizontal and vertical elements align.

 

Plate 3
Plate 3

Plate 4-  Shows a Parallel Diagonal that helps organize the composition.

Plate 4
Plate 4

Plate 5-  Shows a right angle structure, between Saint Jerome and the Lion, built on the 2 subdivisions. The proportions of this triangle are very close (95%) to 3 base, 4 vertical, 5 hypotenuse. This would make it a Pythagorean Triple.

Plate 5
Plate 5

Coincidence?

You tell me.

Or, just go see it.