Arts & Culture

Saint Jerome

Anthonie van Dyck1618 - 1620

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Anthonie van Dyck was no more than an adolescent when he painted this life-sized Jerome. He based the composition largely on a work by his teacher Peter Paul Rubens and copied some of the details almost literally, such as the lion. Nevertheless, Van Dyck tried to move away from his mentor’s style and technique. Rubens’ paintings of that period are smooth, with enamel-like surfaces. Van Dyck, however, applied his paint with wide, uneven brushstrokes. He would render an arm or a leg with just a few self-assured dashes of paint, as if he were making an oil sketch. Jerome’s deeply lined, red face, which forms a strong contrast to his pale body, suggests that Van Dyck was working from a model. Jerome appears in several of his paintings from around 1615-1618. One of the four Church Fathers, Jerome was an erudite scholar, renowned for his Latin translation of the Bible. The angel proffering a quill signifies that his writings were the fruits of divine inspiration. Jerome once removed a thorn from a lion’s paw, after which the lion became his constant companion.

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  • Title: Saint Jerome
  • Date Created: 1618 - 1620
  • Theme: Christianity
  • Physical Dimensions: w1300 x h1650 cm (Without frame)
  • Painter: Anthonie van Dyck
  • Original Title: Heilige Hieronymus
  • Artist Information: Anthonie van Dyck, also called Antoon, worked in Antwerp and London. As a teenager, he worked as assistant to the painter Peter Paul Rubens. In 1620, when he was 20, he travelled to England and Italy. When he returned to Antwerp, he ran a successful studio. In 1632 he left for England, where he worked for Charles I. He was dubbed knight and became famous as a portrait artist. He returned to Antwerp on several occasions and died in 1641 in England.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Lent by the Willem van der Vorm Foundation 1972,
  • External Link: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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