Copyright Dr. Elizabeth Garner and Gary Hind, May, 14, 2014, All Rights Reserved
Dürer stopped manufacturing St. Jerome images after his 1496 engraving until this composition was published in 1511.
Notice the clue of the sundial and hourglass, clearly depicting the numeral “1.” Please see my article “What Time Is It?” to understand what type of clue Dürer gives us, for he is certainly giving us a coded message of some sort.
But now take a look at the predatory drawing Duerer made in anticipation of this publishing this woodcut. First we, can see that, despite the “sepxerts’ opinions, this drawing could never have been intended to be transferred to a woodblock as the date of 1511 and the monogram is not in reverse (lower part of the drawing). In the print, the date got moved to the chest. the Jew box got moved to book on a pillow.
If we compare the lions, in the drawing this lion is wide awake and staring at the date, while in the print, the lion is sleeping or almost asleep.
The hourglass got moved to a very prominent position in the print; to understand what the sundial is saying, please my article “What Time is It.”
At the top of the drawing are two VERY important instruments, a telescope and an astrolabe quadrant, which are used for seafaring and measurement of navigational positional. We will see much more of these navigational instruments in Melencolia. the telescope got changed to an innocuous candle.
But most important of all, right next to the desk, is the Duerer Coat of arms, the open doors, with a circle in the center, which could be a sun or a compass. this tells us that dueler never intended the have the final print designed as it ultimately was published. Duerer was telling something very important about nautical discoveries, that for some reason he had to drop when he published the print.
What could that be?