Discover Saint Jerome in the Wilderness

Margaux Jouault
Publié le 4 January 2023
Discover Saint Jerome in the Wilderness

When Leonardo da Vinci is mentioned, one immediately thinks of the Mona Lisa or the Last Supper… Too well known? We agree! Today Museum TV invites you to take a look at a little-known work by the Italian master: Saint Jerome in the Wilderness painted around 1483.

Saint Jerome in the Wilderness : Suffering in the spotlight

The first thing to know about this painting is that it is unfinished. Owned by the Vatican, Saint Jerome in the Wilderness was never completed by the Italian master.

In biblical representation, Saint Jerome is often depicted in the garb of a cardinal studying the Bible. However, Leonardo da Vinci decided to represent the Saint in the midst of penitence in the desert. Suffering is omnipresent on his body and on his face. Saint Jerome strikes his chest with a stone. This representation of suffering is certainly linked to the Saint's desire to get closer to the suffering of the Christ.

The work is of great interest to historians because it provides us with elements of understanding of Leonardo da Vinci's way of painting! Notably with the use of a finger painting technique, the sfumato.

Finally, the foreground features a lion, which St. Jerome was supposed to have healed from a wound and which has become a sort of attribute of his.

Thus, Leonardo da Vinci once again signs a work rich in history and biblical meanings typical of the Italian Renaissance!

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