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Saint Jerome in the Wilderness

Piero della Francesca Italian

Not on view

Although its surface is worn, this picture is dated and is thus crucial to establishing a chronology for Piero’s work. The fourth-century scholar Saint Jerome is shown in the wilderness performing penance before a crucifix, the serene river landscape offering a counterpoint. The lion and the cardinal’s hat are attributes of the saint, who was said to have removed a thorn from the lion’s paw. The picture was painted for Girolamo Feretti, a cloth merchant from Ancona, where Piero is documented decorating a chapel in the cathedral in 1450.

Saint Jerome in the Wilderness, Piero della Francesca (Italian, Sansepolcro ca. 1412–1492 Sansepolcro), Tempera on wood

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