CRANACH, Lucas the Elder
(b. 1472, Kronach, d. 1553, Weimar)

St Jerome Writing in a Landscape

c. 1515
Oil and tempera on wood, 68 x 58 cm
JAPS Collection, Mexico City

This panel blends two pictorial themes, depicting the penitent Jerome in the desert and the scholarly translator of the Bible in his study.

The composition of this painting corresponds almost exactly with a second work, now in Berlin. Although the two are almost identical in terms of motifs, they were painted on supports of very different proportions. The Berlin panel is in a classical upright format known in the Cranach workshop as 'standard format', while the Mexico painting is more broadly proportioned, it is almost square.