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Francesco Botticini, S. Gerolamo Altarpiece

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S. Gerolamo Altarpiece


The S. Gerolamo Altarpiece, named after the saint prominently depicted at its centre and the church where it originally stood, is among the most important works of the Florentine painter Francesco Botticini. The artist was an exact contemporary of Sandro Botticelli, with whom he may have trained in the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio.

The fourth-century theologian Saint Jerome (Gerolamo or Girolamo in Italian) is best known for his translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek into Latin. During the fifteenth century a cult dedicated to the saint found many followers (called Hieronymites), leading to the establishment of numerous religious houses across the Italian peninsula. This altarpiece comes from their church in Fiesole, a small town in the hills above Florence. Its patron, the Florentine patrician Girolamo di Piero di Cardinale Rucellai, can be seen kneeling to the left of the framed image of Saint Jerome, opposite his son.