“St Jerome in his Study” by Antonello da Messina dates from somewhere between 1450 and 1475. Georges Perec kept a print of the painting on his wall.
“The whole space” Perec writes “is organized around the piece of furniture (and the whole of the piece of furniture is organized around the book). The glacial architecture of the church (the bareness of the tiling, the hostility of the piers) has been cancelled out. Its perspective and its vertical lines have ceased to delimit the site simply of an ineffable faith; they are there solely to lend scale to the piece of furniture, to enable it to be inscribed. Surrounded by the uninhabitable, the study defines a domesticated space inhabited with serenity by cats, books and men.”