Saint Jerome (about 342 - 420), the chief inspiration for Christian penitents and hermits, is depicted studying the Bible, which he translated into Latin from the original Greek and Hebrew. He is shown in the desert with his books, the lion from whose paw he had drawn a thorn, and the crucifix before which he prayed.

The subject was treated by Crespi in at least two other pictures. A date about 1715 or somewhat later has been suggested.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1665 - 1747
Full title
Saint Jerome in the Desert
Date made
1710-20
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
87 x 66.6 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1963
Inventory number
NG6345
Location in Gallery