Saint Jerome (about 342 - 420), the chief inspiration for Christian penitents and hermits, is depicted studying the Bible, which he translated into Latin from the original Greek and Hebrew. He is shown in the desert with his books, the lion from whose paw he had drawn a thorn, and the crucifix before which he prayed. The subject was treated by Crespi in at least two other pictures. A date about 1715 or somewhat later has been suggested.
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