The quirky “Bad Catholic” writer Marc Barnes — who has left Patheos Catholic and is once again blogging from his own digs — has a pretty amusing takedown of the weird-looking lions that show up in paintings of St. Jerome. He writes:
According to the legend, Jerome was hanging with his religious brothers when a lion limped towards them. His brothers fled. Jerome, being braver than you, welcomed the lion as he would any guest. He pulled an irksome thorn out of the poor guy’s paw and cleaned him up. They became good friends, and artists have since depicted Jerome with his lion.
The only problem with this delightful narrative is, well, no one knows how to draw a freaking lion. No one. The history of art is rife with depictions of St. Jerome’s lion-compadre so horrendous they will give you strange, slightly-humorous but ultimately uncomfortable nightmares.
He puts together a nice little compendium of said “derpy lions.” It’s a fair cop. They look awful.
If you need a laugh today, it’s worth a look.