From 23 March to 16 July 2016
Opening 22 March 2016
There was a time, at the end of the 4th and beginning of the 5th century, when the modern notion of inner space began to emerge: Saint Augustine’s silent reading and Saint Jerome’s translation of the Bible from Greek into Latin, which provided the Western world with what was to be known as the Vulgate, direct access to the sacred text, epitomize that moment. The fact that Augustine would read in silence and not publicise his experience of the text signified his belonging to a separate space – a space that existed between him and the sacred, him and transcendence, and in a contemporary view, him and the world. Jerome moved away from the world in order to translate the Bible; but he also went into the desert; he saved humans from the fear of being devoured by a lion. He lived both in public and private; he paved the way, culturally, for us to do so.
To paraphrase Burckhardt’s assertion, the modern man was born in 15th century Italy. Saint Augustine and Saint Jerome both played a crucial role in defining the possibility for an inner space, and the depictions of them were numerous...