Saint Jerome in the Wilderness

For four years, Saint Jerome retreated to the desert, where he purified his soul through physical suffering. The bearded saint sits in front of a barren and rocky background, his emaciated body a testament to his ascetic life. He directs his gaze to a crucifix that he holds in his left hand. During his time of religious contemplation, Saint Jerome was tormented by vivid hallucinations; his right hand clasps a rock with which he would beat his breast until the visions passed. A nook in the vaulted structure behind him holds his attributes: a cardinal's hat and a book referring to his translation of the Bible into Latin. A small lion inside the shelter recalls the fable in which Jerome pulls a thorn from a lion's paw, forever securing the animal's devotion. Ercole de'Roberti was artist to the court of Ferrara in northern Italy. The elongated forms, taut, linear rhythms, subtle colors, and meticulous, gold-flecked details of this painting convey the sophistication prized by Ercole's aristocratic patrons. This small devotional painting demands a focused concentration from the viewer that echoes Jerome's efforts to come closer to God.

Tempera on panel (about 1470)

by Ercole de'Roberti (Italian, about 1450-1496)

Art-Print Options

Unframed Archival Paper
18"x24" (46cm x 61cm) Paper $59.99
24"x36" (61cm x 92cm) Paper $89.00
32"x44" (81cm x 112cm) Paper $149.99
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31" x 42" (78 x 107cm) Mural $139.00

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