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Title

St Jerome in his study

1514


Artist

Albrecht Dürer

Germany

24 May 1471 - 05 Apr 1528


About

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.


Details


Date

1514


Media category

Print


Materials used

engraving


Dimensions

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


Signature & date

Printed date and monogram, within image, lower right 1514/AD.


Credit

The Estate of James O Fairfax AC


Location

Not on display


Accession number

117.2019


Artist information

Albrecht Dürer

Works in the collection

14


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography