Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi) (Italian, Florentine, 1444/45–1510)
Tempera and gold on wood
13 1/2 x 10 in. (34.3 x 25.4 cm)
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.642)
The subject of this picture is taken from a text on Jerome's death written by the church historian Eusebius. The saint is shown in his bedroom cell near Bethlehem, supported by his brethren. The picture, which dates from the early 1490s, was painted for the Florentine wool merchant Francesco del Pugliese, who described it in his will of 1502. A supporter of Savonarola, Pugliese may have been attracted to the subject for its deeply devotional content. The exceptionally fine frame on this picture was carved in the workshop of Giuliano da Maiano. Its painted lunette is by Bartolomeo di Giovanni, who not only collaborated with Botticelli on at least one occasion but copied this picture as well.