By Paolo Uccello
The image above appears on many UFO sites.
UFO websites describe the contents of this photo in a number of ways, but all of them see a red UFO (See white arrow, above right):
- «The blown up picture to the right of it shows a red saucer shaped UFO seen near Jesus.»
- «In the painting, set aside from the hill by means of a perspective effect, there is a saucer object, suspended into the air and surmounted by a red domed top. Red in color, the object comes out over the dark background by contrast. The dynamic movement of the flying object is rendered by means of light brush strokes, red in color again, which provide the effect of a sudden turn.»
In reality, the image above is a small portion of a larger painting by Paolo Uccello called Scene di Vita Eremitica (Scenes of Monastic Life ) (also known as “La Tebaide”) , circa 1460-1465, pictured below.
Note the white box, this is where the picture above is located in the painting:
The painting is a montage of various key scenes of monastic life: at the bottom left, the Virgin appears to St. Bernard; above, a group of monks flagellate themselves in front of the Crucifix; at the bottom right, a saint (probably St. Romuald) preaches; while at the top, St. Francis kneels down and receives the Stigmata. In the middle, in a large cave (inside the white box), St. Jerome prays before the crucified Christ
The truth is, this is St. Jerome kneeling before Christ and the red object on the ground (and pictured to the left) is a traditional Catholic cardinal’s hat – red, rounded, broad-brimmed, and the trailing tasseled cords.
The small animal with the saint is actually a lion. According to an archetypical legend, St. Jerome saved and then tamed a wild lion by extracting a thorn from its paw.
Below we see other interpretations of St. Jerome by other artists of the period. In each instance we see the cardinal’s hat on the ground, and in a few instances, we see the lion.
Conclusion: In the Paolo Uccello painting called “La Tebaide” there are no UFOs. The red object near the praying saint is the cardinal hat of Saint Jerome.
Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4
Part 5 • Part 6 • Part 7 • Part 8
* The information contained herein is based primarily on the work of Diego Cuoghi and the sources listed below:
2. Edicolaweb, English translation by Diego Cuoghi; translated text edited for English comprehension by Daniel Loxton.
3. Diego Cuoghi