St. Jerome in the Wilderness


Mixed technique on oakwood
Inv. No. 1091

31 × 21 cm

zur  Biographie

This small, mood-filled panel painting shows the church father and Bible translator Jerome in a wooded landscape, performing his penitential exercises in the company of his faithful lion. In a departure from common practise, however, his pious contemplations are not addressed to a sculptural representation of Christ on the Cross but to a panel painting of the Crucifixion hanging on a tree trunk in front of him. In this way, with the painting within a painting, Gerard David’s panel of about 1510 provided the contemporary viewer with a kind of “instruction manual” for the proper use of devotional images.
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