barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Giovanni Bellini (about 1430 – 1516)

Saint Jerome in the Wilderness

Venice, about 1460

Tempera on wood

44 x 22.9 cm

 

Saint Jerome (died 419) was a scholar who translated the Bible into Latin. 

He also retired to the wilderness and lived the secluded of a hermit.  According to legend, he removed a thorn from the paw of a lion who then became his companion.  Here, Jerome exchanges the scholar’s study for a cave.  Beyond is a sunlit landscape full of closely-observed natural details representing the comfortable life he has forsaken and the future he will gain.

Giovanni Bellini played a crucial role in the development of Venetian painting, introducing a glowing use of colour and a new feeling for landscape.

 

Purchased 1949 (No.49.1)

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