Saint Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin from the original Greek and Hebrew, is shown reading in his study. He is surrounded by books, an inkwell, an unlit candle and a crucifix (which seems not to be attached to the desk and may be a vision).

Jerome's traditional attribute of a lion (from whose paw, according to legend, the saint had removed a thorn) sleeps peacefully in the foreground while a partridge perches nearby.

The pink and blue of Jerome's robes and the blue of his cardinal's hat are unusual in representations of the saint. Saint Jerome was traditionally shown in red, although until the 1460s it was customary for cardinals to wear a violet or blue cape unless granted the privilege of wearing red when acting on papal business.

There is another version of the painting in Frankfurt-am-Main.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
active 1506 - 1531
Full title
Saint Jerome in his Study
Date made
probably about 1510
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
75.9 x 98.4 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1862
Inventory number
NG694
Location in Gallery