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JAN VAN EYCK

SAINT JEROME IN HIS STUDY, CA. 1435

About the Artwork

Delicate and intricate in its execution and rich in its symbolism, this small panel painting attributed to the workshop of Jan van Eyck depicts Saint Jerome, the fourth-century translator of the Bible, reading in his study. According to legend, Jerome extracted a thorn from a lion's paw. The books and other objects seen here relate to the saint's intellectual pursuits and take on symbolic meanings. The hourglass is traditionally equated with the passage of time and human mortality. The glass bottle is undisturbed by the light passing through it just as the virginity of Mary was undisturbed by the Holy Spirit when she conceived Jesus. The jar labeled tyriaca (an antidote for snakebite) surmounted by a pomegranate (a symbol of the resurrection) refers to Christ as the savior of the world. Based on the inscription on the folded letter on the table, it has been suggested that the figure of Saint Jerome is a disguised portrait of Cardinal Niccolò Albergati.

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DIA Custom Prints offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Hand-made in the USA using gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.
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