St. Jerome in PenitenceArtist(s)FlorentineObject Creation Datecirca 1500Medium & Supportengraving on paperDimensions
8 3/4 x 6 3/4 in. (22.1 x 17.1 cm);19 5/16 x 14 5/16 in. (48.9 x 36.2 cm)Credit LineMuseum PurchaseLabel copy
This dramatic print shows a monumental gure of St. Jerome kneeling in the wilderness before a cruci x while beating his chest with a rock. His semi-nude body, its musculature strongly emphasized, dominates the foreground. A lion, which became Jerome’s faithful companion after he removed a thorn from its foot, crouches beside the saint and turns toward him with a gaping mouth, as if roaring. Though Jerome’s penance took place in the desert, a cityscape in the background includes a prominent ecclesiastical structure rising behind the saint; this may be a reference to his status
as one of the Four Doctors of the Church (teachers recognized for their important contributions to the interpretation of scripture and the development of Christian doctrine). Though the plate was engraved by a Florentine artist, perhaps Francesco Rosselli (1448–before 1513) or someone from his circle, the print is likely an eighteenth-century impression intended to be a single sheet rather than part of a series. Primary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaWesternRights
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