Saint Jerome Andrea del Verrocchio Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Saint Jerome is an artistic sculpture authored by one of the greatest sculptors, Andrea Del Verrocchio from Italy. This specific artwork is dated back to around 1460 and covers a size of 40.5 centimetres by 27 centimetres.

Saint Jerome sculpture is just one of the many famous works of the artist Andrea del Verrocchio which was done in the name of the saint and cardinal priest Saint Jerome who is popular for his contribution in the Bible translation to Latin. The identification of the painting as Saint Jerome is speculative as none of the Saint's common attributes appears, whoever from the physical appearance of the sculpture it becomes almost obvious to recognise the Saint out of the figure.

The features of the ascetic Saint Jerome appears painted his intellectual and holy efforts. The rare red halo depicts his customery identification as a cardinal priest. It is clear that the figure might be a highly finished design of preparatory work for a larger and more complex painting.

As an artist, Andrea Del Verrocchio did not just arise from nowhere into painting the Saint Jerome statue. The great Italian artist is said to have learned his painting skills from Alessio Baldovinetti at around the mid-1460s. He is also assumed to have worked with some of the greatest Italian artists like Sandro Botticelli under Fra Filippo Lippi as their master in Prato. The experience of Andrea Del Verrocchio is displayed in the quality of the designs seen in the Saint Jerome sculpture. The figure is recognised as Saint Jerome by his aged look, weathered face and torso half-nude like an ascetic. This was done to represent an iconographic model which was popular during the fifteenth century. The appearance of the statue is also an alternative to the customary depiction of a cardinal priest in the robes.

Andrea Del Verrocchio employed the technique of terracotta with mixed materials on paper affixed to wood while making the Saint Jerome sculpture. The artwork was initially created on paper and later transferred into wood for integration in a collection. This is assumed to have been Andrea Del Verrocchio preparatory study work for a different artwork, perhaps the Crucifixion of Christ between Saint Jerome and Saint Anthony in the Santa Maria church in Argiano not far from San Casciano in Val di Tesa.

The Florentine painter's workshop formed the foundation and training ground for many Italian artists that later became the most celebrated sculptors in entire Europe. Leonardo da Vinci is among the greatest artists who developed superb artistic techniques and was inspired by the extraordinary Andrea Del Verrocchio. The Saint Jerome sculpture forms an essential aspect of study in the creative techniques of Renaissance-era Florentine workshops. From the Saint Jerome painting in the Palatine Gallery, there is a significant difference between the masterful depiction of the Saint's head and neck compared to the chest. These differences have led to the presumption that the original Saint Jerome drawing was remodelled by being enlarged and combined at a later date by other artists other than Andrea Del Verrocchio.