Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information, including hours




Western art

View More:


St Jerome in his study



Albrecht Dürer


24 May 1471 - 05 Apr 1528


St Jerome, who produced the Latin vulgate version of the bible, occupies the end of the room. By Dürer’s time Jerome had, as a scholar and a Latinist, become an iconic figure for the humanists. Bent over his small writing desk which is placed on a larger table together with a crucifix and a pot of ink. Suspended from the wall behind him is the cardinal’s hat (a traditional attribute, although Jerome never in fact became a cardinal). Dressed in a simple habit rather than the vestment usually befitting a doctor of the Church, Jerome is a modest scholar filled with divine illumination as he translates the word of God. The radiance of his halo outshines the brilliance of the daylight. It is virtually the only part of the engraving where the paper is left untouched by the work of the burin.
Dürer represented St Jerome in prints on five occasions, however this was his last rendition of the theme. The date of 1514 is also that of the publication of the translation of St Jerome’s biography by Dürer’s friend Lazarus Spengler.

Together with 'Melencolia I' and 'Knight, Death and the Devil', these three engravings have long been known as the ‘Master Engravings’. With these works Dürer attained the height of his capacities as an engraver. Aside from their technical sophistication, the prints are also connected by their near identical format and their concentration of a single figure in a highly complex, richly symbolic environment. The prints have been interpreted as representing three different modes of virtuous living, with St Jerome symbolising the solitary, contemplative and self-fulfilled life of the man of letters.




Media category


Materials used



24.8 x 19.0 cm trimmed to platemark; 52.1 x 46.3 x 4.5 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., [incised plate] "1514/ AD [artist's monogram]".


The Estate of James O Fairfax AC


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Albrecht Dürer

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 1 publication


Richard Beresford and Peter Raissis, The James Fairfax collection of old master paintings, drawings and prints, Sydney, 2003, p 80, no 20, illus p 81.