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Bono da Ferrara, Saint Jerome in a Landscape

Key facts
Full title Saint Jerome in a Landscape
Artist Bono da Ferrara
Artist dates active 1442 - 1461
Date made about 1440
Medium and support Egg tempera on poplar
Dimensions 52 × 38 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1867
Inventory number NG771
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Saint Jerome in a Landscape
Bono da Ferrara

A barefoot and bearded saint sits in a rocky landscape, prayer beads in hand. Discarded behind him is a red cardinal’s hat, and he wears a cardinal’s ermine cape over his rough wool habit. This is Saint Jerome, monk, hermit and translator of the Bible.

Here he seems to have been up all night working: books, scrolls and ink pots are piled on a ledge and on the floor behind him, and the hills in the distance are flooded with the golden light of dawn. This light is perhaps also a metaphor. It touches the roof and spires of a small church nestled in the valley, and Jerome was said to have illuminated the Church with his teachings.

Bono da Ferrara was a pupil of Pisanello, from whom he got his interest in animals and his steep rocky landscapes.

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