The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Saint Jerome
  • Benvenuto di Giovanni (1436 - after 1518)
  • Saint Jerome
  • Italy
  • 1475 - 1491
  • Painting
  • Oil on poplar panel
  • Image size: 31 x 19.7 cm
    Made up to, Object size: 32.7 x 21.6 cm
    Frame size: 53.5 x 46 x 8 cm
  • P543
  • Reserve Gallery
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Saint Jerome (c.340-420) was one of the four Latin Fathers of the Church. As a young man he travelled widely, living as a hermit in the Syrian Desert for four years. He is said to have experienced vivid sexual hallucinations during this time, and describes in one of his letters how he would beat his chest with a stone until the fever passed. In Benvenuto’s painting he is clearly shown in the apparel of a penitent with the stone held against his chest. After his retirement he held an appointment under Pope Damasus I, indicated in the painting by the presence of the red Cardinal’s hat at the bottom left. Later he settled in Bethlehem, where he translated the Bible into Latin. His translation, known as the Vulgate, was declared the official Latin text by the Council of Trent eleven centuries later.