St Jerome (1570 – 1575) by Titian

St Jerome - Titian - 1570 - 1575

Artwork Information

TitleSt Jerome
Date1570 - 1575
Dimensions138 x 97 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationThyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain

About St Jerome

The artwork titled “St Jerome” is an exemplary creation by the esteemed artist Titian, believed to have been composed between 1570 and 1575. It is an oil painting on canvas that measures 138 x 97 centimeters. This piece embodies the spirit of the Mannerism movement, which developed during the Late Renaissance, and is categorized as a religious painting. It can be viewed at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain.

In the artwork, we observe St. Jerome, an important Christian scholar and a translator of the Bible into Latin — a text known as the Vulgate. He is depicted as an elderly, bearded man, whose physical strength has waned, yet he exhibits intense intellectual vigor. The saint is portrayed with his torso bare, clothed in a rich, red drapery that cascades around his lower body, signifying passion and perhaps his cardinal status. St. Jerome is seated on a rocky ground suggesting the harsh desert where he spent years in penance. He is absorbed in reading a large book resting on the rocks, symbolizing his scholarly pursuits and contributions to Christianity.

The color palette is subdued, with earthy tones dominating the scene, while St. Jerome’s flesh and the rich red of his drapery provide a contrast that draws attention to the figure. The background is sketchily rendered, evoking the untamed wilderness and emphasizing the saint’s remote and ascetic life. Shadows play across the composition, adding to the sense of depth and introspection. Overall, the painting reflects Titian’s mastery in capturing the spiritual intensity and pious dedication of St. Jerome through evocative brushwork and color.

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