(b. 1472, Venezia, d. 1526, Capodistria)

St Jerome and the Lion

Tempera on canvas, 141 x 211 cm
Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, Venice

Episode No. 2 of the series of seven paintings "Episodes from the Life of Sts Jerome, George and Triphun".

In the other canvases Vittore Carpaccio relies less on his references to the daily life and customs of contemporary Venice than in the Vision of St Augustin. The St Jerome and the Lion and the Funeral of St Jerome, dated 1502, still contain some views that recall the part of the city where the Scuola stood, especially the area around the church of San Giovanni al Tempio and the Hospital of Santa Caterina as they appear in the map of Venice drawn up by Jacopo de' Barbari in 1500.

Set in the open square surrounded by carefully planned architectural constructions, the story of St Jerome and the Lion unfolds in several separate episodes, for the most part centering round the figure of the wild beast, tamed by the saint. The monks are shown running in all directions, their blue and white tunics flapping in the wind; the details of the palm trees, the Turks with their turbans and a few exotic animals are the only elements that suggest that the event is actually taking place in Bethlehem, where according to the Legenda Aurea, the Bishop of Split had retired to.

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