MONTAGNA, Bartolomeo
(b. ca. 1450, Orzinuovi, Brescia, d. 1523, Vicenza)

St Jerome

c. 1500
Oil on canvas, 51 x 58 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The most striking aspect of this picture is the fabulous landscape on the right, which seems to be only partially invented. The Veronese provenance of the work suggests the interesting theory that it was painted for the convent of St Jerome at the Roman theater. The topographical features of Verona recur here, though in altered form: the river, the ruins, the double staircase cut into the tufa, the church and the convent. Bartolomeo's main inspiration seems to have stemmed from a reality that he returned to a state of nature, converting the townscape he knew into a rustic landscape.

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