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St. Jerome in the desert

Filippo Lippi

St. Jerome in the desert

Filippo Lippi
  • Date: 1456
  • Style: Early Renaissance
  • Genre: religious painting
  • Media: tempera
  • Dimensions: 47 x 30 cm
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The St. Jerome in Penance is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Filippo Lippi, dating to c. 1439. It is housed in the Lindenau-Museum of Altenburg, Germany. The work could be identified with the St. Jerome Penitent of which Lippi asked payment in a letter issued to Piero de' Medici in 1439.

The painting is one of the first known example on the subject of St. Jerome doing penance. It is a small panel, divided into two different scenes: in the upper part is St. Jerome with the wooden cross, the stone to strike his breast and the lectern lying on the rock. In the lower part, with a chronological step, is the episode of the saint with the lion having a thorn in the paw. The unfriendly landscape is a metaphor of the hermit style of life.

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