Sunday, April 30, 2006

(25) constellation Perseus

Perseus is very small compared to Auriga, but recognizable both because Perseus is usually shown as a man in armor, and because of the two-armed shape suggested by the pattern of stars. The dogs attacking the knight are not from the same myth, and seem to be a continuation of the stereotype of what Europeans looked like to people in the New World, which started with the image of Auriga as a charioteer (below), showing the European as a man in armor. The scene represents a reversal of events described by Bartholome de las Casas, where the invaders brought dogs to attack people.
Connections between El Jardín de las Delicias/The Garden of Delights and the writings of Bartolome de las Casas have been described by Francisco Rodríguez in a dissertation, La Brevíssima Relación del Padre Las Casas, Texto y Subtextos (University of California, Davis, 1995; available from University Microfilms).


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