The theme of St Jerome in Penitence is often found in paintings of the end of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century, the translator of the Bible often shown as an old, emaciated man, half-dressed in a red garment falling in sophisticated drapery, in a penitent attitude, or receiving a vision.
In the field of sculpture, we can mention the superb Penitent Saint Jerome by Pietro Torrigiano in Seville.
St. Jerome is often carrying a crucifix he contemplates. It is likely that this was the case for our statuette, whose left hand seems intentend to hold a small crucifix in wood or metal.
In the somewhat excessive swaying, the very expressive attitude of his emaciated arms and legs as well as the very fine clothing with savant drapery, our statuette belongs to the Mannerist current, during his last fires at the turn of the XVI th and XVII th centuries. The favor of the motive in Southern Europe, and the realistic character of our sculpture allows us to assign it to an artist working in Southern Italy, as well as the slightly pink alabaster.
Superb condition, ancient restored break in the middle. Some lacks.