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Georges de la Tour (1593-1652)

Saint Jerome c. 1621-23

Oil on canvas | 63.8 x 47.2 cm | RCIN 405462

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St Jerome is best known for translating the Bible into Latin in the fourth century. Here he is shown absorbed reading a letter, peering through one lens of his lorgnettes. The artist's particular sensitivity to the depiction of light is clearly evident, the letter rendered almost transparent while the old man's face is largely in shade. This was one of the 72 pictures bought from William Frizell in 1660. By 1666 it was hanging alongside a collection of artists' portraits at Whitehall. Acquired by Charles II from William Frizell, 1660. Cat. 131