Egg Tempera on vellum & 22k gold leaf 9.25” x 6.5” (double matted 15” x 12”), 2012
About the piece:
My father took this photo of my little sister and me in a petting zoo while we were on vacation. Goats are among the earliest animals domesticated by humans and they are also associated with lust. In the Middle Ages goats were thought to whisper lewd sentences in the ears of saints. The goats and goatherd in the margin are from a medieval manuscript.
About the series:
Each image in the Children and Beasts manuscript series came from studying medieval manuscripts and referencing early bestiaries, (collections of moralized fables about actual or mythical animals). Children feel a kinship with animals; both are felt to be untainted by the artificial structures of human civilization and remain natural and innocent. What better way to illustrate our middle class concepts of nostalgia and an ideal childhood than to merge these principles; the innocence of the ideal Western childhood with the charm, humor and imaginative aspect of the Medieval Bestiary?
All the of the titles are generated by mimicking the language, titles and descriptions of manuscripts and paintings on panel that I find in the many books on this subject that I keep in my studio.