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Parmigianino: 'The Madonna and Child with Saints'

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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.

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