Catalogue No. 41
St Jerome Contemplating In a Landscape

Artist: Palma Giovane (Jacopo Negretti)
St Jerome Contemplating In a Landscape

1544-1628
Oil on Canvas 38¾ x 55¾ ins

Collection Details
Sold anonymously, Knight, Frank & Rutley, 18 June 1954, lot 218 as Tintoretto: bt by Agnew, from whom acquired by Lord Faringdon the same year.

Related Drawing
A sheet of studies in the Uffizi (No. 13126F), always attributed to Palma, includes a study for this picture (for details, cf catalogue of Uffizi exhibition Disegni Veneziani del Sei e Settecento, 1953, No.14, fig.13).  Although primarily a study for the figure, the landscape background is drawn in some detail and the composition is indicated by a border.  The other studies on the sheet are unrelated to this composition.  The sheet is generally dated c.1580.

Background
This is a subject that was often treated by Palma.  The sheet of studies referred to above includes a second composition with St. Jerome, which has some affinity with Palma’s signed painting of the subject in the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts (cf Burlington Magazine, 1938, LXXII, p.39, where it is dated 1587–93).

 

The present picture is clearly earlier, being less mannered and more in the style of Titian, and it would fit satisfactorily with the date of c.1580 accepted for the Uffizi drawing.  In the catalogue of the 1953 exhibition, where the drawing was shown, the study of St. Jerome was described as being more meditative than is usual with Palma and its relationship to Bassano’s St. Jerome in the Accademia at Venice (No.652) was stressed.