Deer Hunting. Hermitage of San Baudelio. Casillas de Berlanga (Soria)Ca. 1125. Fresco painting on mural transferred to canvas, 185 x 246 cm.
This set of mural paintings that adorned the interior of the early eleventh-century Mozarabe church of San Baudelio de Berlanga was taken off the walls and exported to the United States in 1926, where it was divided among different institutions. Pieces from that set are now exhibited in museums in Boston and Indianapolis, and at the Cloisters Museum in New York. The six fragments were part of the decoration of the inner register of the nave of the Hermitage of San Baudelio, and the front of the choir stalls. All of the subjects were secular. The compositions are simple, using primary colors, and the figures are flat, with very summary profiles. The present piece was originally located on the north wall alongside Hare Hunting (P07265), from which it was separated by the tree on the left. Although both hunting scenes have a monochromatic reddish background and the same dynamic attitude as the secular paintings from San Baudelio —far from the static graphism of the sacred scenes, more in keeping with the Romanesque era— here, the hunter and deer are depicted in profile. The hunter stands —a rare position in the Romanesque period— shooting his second arrow into the deer that symbolizes Christ and the soul. The deer has already been wounded by the first arrow —the ill intent— with which the hunter harries it. Access to the six fragments: Elephant (P07264); Hare Hunting (P07265); Deer Hunting (P07268); Soldier or Beater (P07266); Curtain (P07267); Bear (P07263).