Group of Three Panels: Last Communion of St. Jerome, The Man of Sorrows, The Death of St. Jerome1500
These three panels were once the “predella,” or base, of a large altarpiece. Predellas are often painted to depict scenes from the lives of the figures represented in the larger central section of the altarpiece. This predella includes two scenes from the life of Saint Jerome, one of the four Latin church fathers who was renowned during the Renaissance for both his learning and piety. The panel at the left (37.428a) shows the elderly Jerome, gaunt and haggard after spending years meditating in the wilderness, receiving his last communion. The panel at the right (37.428c) shows his funeral, with the saint’s soul, in the form of an infant, carried to heaven by angels. The panel at the center (37.428b) depicts the Virgin and the apostle John mourning the dead Christ, held upright in his tomb and displaying his wounds to the viewer—an image popularly known as the Man of Sorrows. The main portion of the altarpiece, depicting Saint Jerome in the wilderness, is now at the Museo di San Salvi in Florence. The altarpiece and its predella were painted in the late 1490s by the Florentine artist Bartolomeo di Giovanni for the church of San Vincenzo d’Annalena, Florence.
- H: 7 5/16 x W: 18 1/2 x D: 11/16 in. (18.6 x 47 x 1.7 cm)
- oil on wood panel
- Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum
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