"Oil On Canvas, XVII, Saint Jerome"Saint Jerome adoration,
Oil on canvas 16th - early 17th century
some repairs visible on the back of the canvas
Height: 96 cm
Width: 77 cm
Saint Jerome Stridon dies in 420 in Bethlehem, it is recognized as one of the Fathers of the Church especially for his translation of the Latin Bible, the Vulgate, as well as for his knowledge of ancient texts. Desiring to live as an ascetic and to do penance, he settled in 375 in the Chalcian desert of Syria, known as the "Syrian Thébade". In this work we find all the elements of the iconography of the holy man: the desert (naturalistic landscape, the rock and the lion), the crucifix intercessor of his prayers and the attributes of the saint: the halo and the red garment symbolizing the man of the Church that he will become (secretary and counselor of Pope Damase I). In the legendary iconography of Saint Jerome, the lion is omnipresent. Here with almost human traits, it illustrates the type of representation of this unknown animal in the XVI-XVIIth century as well as a practice of the stylized and naive drawing present in the Iberian Peninsula and in Catalonia. According to the famous "Golden Legend" of Jaques de Voragine Saint Jerome would have met a lion wounded by a thorn in the leg. He would have let Jerome heal him, the lion would not have left him.