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Saint Jerome

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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This impressively bearded figure is a fourth-century saint, Jerome, one of the Fathers of the Christian Church. He holds several books – symbolising his extensive writings, including the first official translation of the Bible into Latin – and a stone.

A red hat held on by a string hangs down his back; you can see its tassel through his beard. Late in his life Saint Jerome became secretary to the Pope, so is often shown with the red robes and hat of a cardinal.

This painting comes from the upper level of a large polyptych (multi-panelled altarpiece) painted by Giorgio Schiavone, probably for the church of San Niccolò in Padua; other panels from it are also in our collection. We are not sure exactly what order the panels were in, but Jerome must have been on the left, looking inwards.

The National Gallery, London

London

Title

Saint Jerome

Date

probably 1456-61

Medium

Tempera on wood

Measurements

H 32.5 x W 25 cm

Accession number

NG630.7

Acquisition method

Bought, 1860

Work type

Painting

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Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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