ID number: BIRBI-49.1
Institution: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker: Bellini, Giovanni (c.1430-1516)
Title / Object name: St. Jerome in the Wilderness
Object type: Painting
Place made: Venice
Date made: about 1460
Materials: Tempera on wood
Measurements: 44 x 22.9 cm
Provenance: D. Goodyear, Gloucester; his sale, Christie's Auction House, London, 6 June 1856 (lot 537), unsold; Christie's Auction House, London, 12 June 1863 (lot 59), purchased by the 6th Earl of Southesk; by descent, Southesk collection; Christie's Auction House, London, 23 July 1948 (lot 42); Agnew's, 1949; purchased by the Barber Institute, 1949 for £7,700.
Saint Jerome (died 419) was a scholar who translated the Bible into Latin. He also retired to the wilderness and lived the secluded of a hermit. According to legend, he removed a thorn from the paw of a lion who then became his companion. Here, Jerome exchanges the scholar’s study for a cave. Beyond is a sunlit landscape full of closely-observed natural details representing the comfortable life he has forsaken and the future he will gain.
Giovanni Bellini played a crucial role in the development of Venetian painting, introducing a glowing use of colour and a new feeling for landscape.
Inscriptions / Translations: Signed on cartellino: IHOVANES BELINUS
Notes: Exhibited: 'Mostra di Giovanni Bellini', Palazzo Ducale, Venice, 1949 (no.24); 'The Age of Titian', National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2004 (no. 2); 'Giovanni Bellini', Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, 30 September - 11 January 2009 (no. 2)