This image of St Augustine once adorned the chapel of the castle at Črni Potok along with five other paintings by Metzinger.
The bishop, one of the four Great Fathers of the Western Church, is shown seated at his writing desk, lit by a heavenly light coming from behind the curtain on the left of the picture, which will help him fill the empty pages in front of him. He is wearing a fine brocade cope with gold trimming and a matching stole. His vestments are complemented by the bishop’s mitre on his head. A crozier studded with precious stones, leaning against the wall on the left, completes his bishop’s outfit. In his right hand, he holds his attribute – a flaming heart – a symbol of his profound faith and love of God.
St Augustine of Hippo was a mystic, philosopher and theologian. His best-known work is De civitate Dei (The City of God). He is venerated as the patron of theologians and printers. He is also the chosen patron saint of brewers, probably as a consequence of Augustine’s wild youth before his conversion to Christianity. A famous beer is still brewed today to the recipes of Augustinian friars in Munich and Salzburg.
Metzinger’s Črni Potok cycle also includes St Gregory (NG S 1551), St Ambrose (NG S 1552), St Jerome (NG S 1553), St John of Nepomuk (NG S 1555) and The Holy Family (NG S 1556). Metzinger repeated the facial type seen in this painting in his large altarpiece for the second side altar on the right in the parish church dedicated to the Holy Trinity in Ljubljana.