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Saint Jerome, part of an altarpiece

Donato de' Bardi

European Art

Donato dei Bardi worked in Genoa, a city that had close ties to France in the early fifteenth century and where the artist could familiarize himself with the smooth surfaces and intricate details of Franco-Flemish painting. The refined qualities of hair and fur in the figure of Saint Jerome reflect Donato’s inspiration from Northern painting.

Saint Jerome is often shown in a cardinal’s robe and hat to reflect his work for the Church. The open book and the pen refer to the saint’s scholarly accomplishments: he was the first to translate the New Testament from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, a text that much later became known as the Vulgate. A lion almost always accompanies Jerome, who was said to have removed a thorn from its paw, thus making a loyal friend of the wild beast.
MEDIUM Tempera and and tooled gold on panel
  • Place Made: Italy
  • DATES ca. 1445-1450
    DIMENSIONS 47 1/2 x 18 1/2 in. (120.7 x 47 cm) Frame: 76 x 30 x 6 in.  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed on open book: "Surgite/mortui/venite/ad judi/cium" [Arise, ye dead, come to judgement]
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of A. Augustus Healy
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Donato de' Bardi (Italian, Lombard-Ligurian School, active 1426-1450/51). Saint Jerome, part of an altarpiece, ca. 1445-1450. Tempera and and tooled gold on panel, 47 1/2 x 18 1/2 in. (120.7 x 47 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of A. Augustus Healy, 21.138 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 21.138_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 21.138_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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