Gian Lorenzo BERNINI-St Jerome on his Knees before a Crucifix(1598)

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Project by prometej065 posted 11-14-2008 07:56 PM 3364 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Gian Lorenzo BERNINI-St Jerome on his Knees before a Crucifix(1598)
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The St. Jerome theme

The subject of St. Jerome was often used by seventeenth-century Italian masters. Born in Dalmatia or in Venice, the saint (circa 340-420) was one of the great doctors of the Latin Church. After his baptism in Rome, he left for the Holy Land and withdrew to the Syrian desert for three years to repent. On his return to Rome, Pope Damasus entrusted him with the task of translating the Bible into Latin (Vulgate); his work was recognized as the official version of the Church by the Council of Trent. Pictures of the saint generally show him translating the Bible inspired by the Holy Ghost, seated at his writing table or repenting in the desert. In the drawing at the Louvre, Bernini chose to illustrate the latter scene, which gives scope for the expression of deep pathos. On his knees on a rock, the saint in adoration before a crucifix, fills the scene entirely. In the background on the right can be seen the lion whose friendship was won by Jerome after he had removed a thorn from its paw.

A mystic composition

Bernini was then sixty-seven years old and the choice of the devotion theme permitting the portrayal of intense mysticism reveals his growing piety. The contrasted use of wash on the emaciated bodies of the saint and lion, together with the broad, emphatic gesture of the former, perfectly express the intensely religious feeling described at length by F. Basan in his catalogue of the Mariette sale (1775, Lot 19): “A sentiment of love and faith can never be better rendered than by the expression seen in this drawing, whose thinking is sublime.” R. E. Spear (1966, p. 107) stressed the importance of this type of composition in the development of baroque painting in Rome, and particularly for the work of the Genoan Giovanni Battista Gaulli, known as “Il Baciccio,” who was in contact with Bernini after 1650. The Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia possesses a variant of this drawing.original drawing


10 comments so far

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3934 days

#1 posted 11-14-2008 08:06 PM

Wow! You’re gifted! That’s some amazing work, and I love the subject matter. Thank you for sharing!

-- Robb

View prometej065's profile


335 posts in 3683 days

#2 posted 11-14-2008 08:33 PM

I thank very Robb :)!!!


View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4218 days

#3 posted 11-14-2008 10:05 PM

Your work is incredible.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3590 days

#4 posted 11-15-2008 12:27 AM

amazing. You are a great marquetarian.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View savannah505's profile


1813 posts in 3586 days

#5 posted 11-15-2008 12:58 AM

Wow, truly moved emotionally by your work. Can’t wait to see more, and how you do this.

-- Dan Wiggins

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4161 days

#6 posted 11-15-2008 01:31 AM

awe-some. Truly amazing work

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3767 days

#7 posted 11-15-2008 02:17 AM

Beautiful piece of art. I like how you have captured light and movement through contrast. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3723 days

#8 posted 11-15-2008 03:31 AM

Beautiful work!

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4406 days

#9 posted 12-03-2008 07:27 AM


-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Grumpy's profile


23928 posts in 3851 days

#10 posted 12-06-2008 11:44 PM

Excellent work. Thanks for sharing.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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