Painted by Masaccio in 1428-1429, Saint Jerome and Saint John the Baptist are part of a double-sided altarpiece created for the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. As a founding father of the Italian Renaissance movement, Masaccio showcased his array of talent and form in this Tempra on Panel Painting.
Currently held at the National Gallery in London and in the Public Domain, Saint Jerome is an important saint and Biblical scholar celebrated on the 1600th anniversary of his death in 2020. Masaccio passed away at only 27 years old after completing the left-hand side of the polyptych in Santa Maria Maggiore.
The painting features both saints seated together, with St. Jerome on the left dressed in a red robe, indicating his status as a cardinal, and St. John the Baptist on the right wrapped in a camel hair garment. The intricate details in the positioning of the figures, visible in their physical form and the surrounding landscape, make the painting striking. Masaccio’s use of chiaroscuro creates a lifelike representation of his subjects, giving the painting depth and dimension. Overall, Saint Jerome and Saint John the Baptist exhibit the masterful skill of Masaccio in portrait art during the Renaissance period.