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St. Jerome in His Study

Medium: 
Painting
Year: 
c.1474-1475
Art Period: 
Renaissance
Dimensions: 
46 cm × 36.5 cm (18.11 in × 14.37 in)

The small picture portrays St. Jerome working in his studio, a room without walls and ceiling seen from a kind of triumphal arch (probably within some church of Aragonese style). As in several other works by the Messinese painter, the main scene is accompanied by a host of details, that have points of contact with the contemporary Flemish school: books, animals, objects, all painted with a magnificent taste for detail and "optical truth".

The scene is devised such that the light rays coincide with the perspective axes, centering on the saint's bust and hands. A Mediterranean landscape is hinted at through the windows opening on both sides of the study. Animals include a partridge (alectoris graeca) and a peacock, in the foreground, both having symbolical meanings, a cat and a mysterious lion in the shade on the right.

Antonello da Messina
Artwork Location 

National Gallery, London

National Gallery

The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The Gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Its collection belongs to the public of the United Kingdom and entry to the main collection is free of charge.