St Jerome in the wilderness
Florence, about 1500
Plate: 222 x 282 mm
Mount: 405 x 557 mm
The scholar St Jerome retired to the Syrian Desert to live in seclusion as a hermit. He is depicted in a traditional manner; dishevelled and semi-naked, with a rock for beating his breast. His customary attributes, a cardinal’s hat and lion, are also present. During the Renaissance, Jerome was recognised as an ultimate figure of Christian contemplation and devotion, due in part to his prolific theological writings that include his Latin translation of the Bible. Of modest quality, this engraving by an unidentified Florentine hand probably records a now lost painting.
Purchased in October 1959 (No. 59.7).