St. Jerome in his Study (1514) by Albrecht Durer

St. Jerome in his Study - Albrecht Durer - 1514

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Artwork Information

TitleSt. Jerome in his Study
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Dimensions18.8 x 24.7 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About St. Jerome in his Study

Albrecht Dürer’s “St. Jerome in his Study” is a Northern Renaissance engraving created in 1514 that measures 18.8 x 24.7 cm and is housed in a private collection. As a work of art, it falls under the genre of religious painting and employs the medium of engraving to portray its subject.

In the engraving, St. Jerome is depicted in a wood-paneled study, deeply immersed in his work, which is an allusion to his translation of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate). The room is filled with detailed objects that provide a sense of depth and texture, contributing to the realistic portrayal characteristic of Dürer’s work and the Northern Renaissance objective to depict subjects with great detail and realism. Key components of the scene include a large, open book on a reading stand, symbolizing the saint’s scholarly pursuits. A skull is positioned on the windowsill, serving as a memento mori, a reminder of mortality often found in Christian art. Articles of his spiritual and scholarly life are organized neatly throughout the study, from books and papers to the ink and quill on the desk.

Adding a symbolic touch to the serene atmosphere, a large lion, traditionally associated with St. Jerome, lies peacefully at the saint’s feet, while a small dog sleeps nearby, which may represent loyalty or domesticity. The light entering through the window creates a remarkable play of shadows and highlights throughout the study. Dürer’s meticulous attention to detail is evident in the textures and surfaces rendered in the engraving, from the wood grain to the lion’s fur, creating a vivid and contemplative scene that draws the viewer into St. Jerome’s world of introspection and devotion.

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