Description St. Jerome (ca. 347-420), one of the four Latin Fathers of the Church (along with Sts. Augustine, Ambrose, and Gregory the Great), is particularly famous for translating the Bible into Latin, known as the Vulgate Bible. The saint spent four years in the Syrian desert as a hermit, mortifying his flesh and elevating his spirit through study. The subject has given Pinturicchio the opportunity to depict a monumental, rocky landscape, while the lizard and the scorpion call attention to the desolation of the scene. The open book contains a passage from a letter attributed to St. Augustine in which Jerome is compared to St. John the Baptist, another saint who lived in the wilderness. For more information on this piece, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 108, pp. 168-170.
- Pintoricchio. Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia. 2008.
Provenance Signora Bartoccini, Perugia [widow of Mr. Gai], by 1901 until 1915 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Luigi Grasse [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1916, by purchase [from Grasse through Bernard Berenson]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] Inscribed on the pages of the open book, difficult to read: ERAR QUOD EST SANCTUM ET NEMUS QUASI SANCTUM NEMUS. DE QUO AUGUSTI[NUS] IN EP[ISTU]LA AD CIRILLUM. Q[UOD] I[TAQUE] INTER NATOS MULIERUM NO[N] SURREXE[RIT] MAIO[R] IOHAN[N]E BATISTA........NEFA........CONTRARIUM/[right page] EST ISTUM EI AEQUALEM IN GLORIA. NAM UTERQUE VIRGO, UTERQUE HEREMITA, VESTBUS ET CIBIS ASPERAM VITAM DUCENS, UTERQUE MARTIR, ILLE TAMEN FERRO, ISTE PATIENTIA ADVERSITATUM.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1916
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