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Spain, 17th century
Oil on canvas
Framed: 150 x 121.5 x 9 cm (59 1/16 x 47 13/16 x 3 9/16 in.); Unframed: 129 x 100.3 cm (50 13/16 x 39 1/2 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1961.219
Saint Jerome (about ad 347–420) translated biblical texts into Latin. Although he sometimes appears as a scholar in his study, Ribera represents him here as a penitent who withdrew to the desert, beating his chest with a stone to emulate Christ’s suffering and contemplating a skull symbolizing human vanity. Working in Naples, Ribera enthusiastically adapted Caravaggio’s characteristic use of light and dark and naturalistic models.
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