To commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), The Met presents the artist’s painting Saint Jerome Praying in the Wilderness (begun around 1483), a special loan from the Vatican Museums. The exquisitely rendered work represents Jerome (A.D. 347–420), a major saint and theologian of the Christian Church. The scene is based on the story of his later life, which he spent as a hermit in the desert, according to the thirteenth-century Golden Legend. The unfinished painting provides viewers with an extraordinary glimpse into Leonardo's creative process, and a close examination of the paint surface reveals the presence of his fingerprints. The display of this monumental masterpiece pays homage to one of the most renowned geniuses of all time.
"A single-painting show of one of the most rawly emotional images in the Leonardo canon."—New York Times
This presentation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been organized with the generous collaboration of the Vatican Museums.
The exhibition is made possible by The New York Chapter of The Patrons of The Arts in The Vatican Museums, and the Placido Arango Fund.
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519). Saint Jerome Praying in the Wilderness (detail), begun ca. 1483. Oil on wood, 40.5 x 29 1/4 in. (103 x 74 cm). Vatican City, Musei Vaticani. Photo © Governatorate of the Vatican City State - Vatican Museums. All rights reserved.