Saint Jerome in his study. Oil painting.

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Saint Jerome in his study. Oil painting. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

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About this work


Saint Jerome is shown as a scholar at work in his study. The lion was, according to a 9th century legend, tamed by Saint Jerome's removal of a thorn from its paw. The objects in the painting signify the saint's significance as a Christian theologian and encourage the viewer to meditate on the vanity of worldly things and the inevitability of death: they include the extinguished candle and skull.

Physical description

1 painting : oil on wood ; wood 77 x 99 cm


Book in foreground has top-edge lettered "Eva(n)[gelia] cu(m) Epis[tolis]", meaning The gospels with the Epistles (of St Paul). Niche containing a crucifix is surrounded by inscription "Adoremus te Christe et benedicimus tibi quia pnr [i.e. per] sa[nctam] crucem tuam redemisti mundum", meaning We adore thee O Christ and we bless thee because through thy holy cross thou hast redeemed the world: this is the opening of the Adoremus te, which is sung during the service of the Stations of the Cross


Wellcome Collection 44814i


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