This altarpiece was painted in Rome in 1527, after the painter's arrival there from Parma (1524). Traditionally entitled 'The Vision of Saint Jerome', that saint is, unusually, depicted asleep, his cardinal's hat balanced on the jaw of a skull.

John the Baptist, a saint who also retired to the wilderness, has a bowl, which he employs for baptism, attached to his belt and holds a reed cross; he directs our attention to Christ above, whose coming he predicted.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1503 - 1540
Full title
The Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Jerome
Date made
1526-7
Medium and support
Oil on poplar
Dimensions
342.9 x 148.6 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by the Directors of the British Institution, 1826
Inventory number
NG33
Location in Gallery