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St Jerome and a Donor

Paolo Veronesec.1563

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery
London, United Kingdom

This is a fragment of a much larger altarpiece, originally painted for the church of San Francesco at Lendinara, in north Italy. Probably executed in the 1560s, the Petrobelli altarpiece was cut down and sold in the 1790s, when the lion and the remains of St. Michael (the hand with the scales of justice, as well as the hand of the devil on whom he treads) were overpainted. These elements resurfaced when the painting was cleaned in the 1940s.

The top section of the altarpiece, now in Ottawa, shows the dead Christ supported by angels, before whom the donor Girolamo Petrobelli, depicted here, kneels. He is blessed by his patron saint, St. Jerome. Other fragments survive in Edinburgh (St. Anthony Abbot and Antonio Petrobelli, Girolamo's cousin) and Austin, TX (Head of St. Michael).

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  • Title: St Jerome and a Donor
  • Date: c.1563
  • Physical Dimensions: w1200 x h2245 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Nationality: Italian
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: Painted for Antonio and Girolamo Petrobelli for their chapel in the church of San Francesco at Lendinara near Rovigo; London, Noel Desenfans, 1795-1807: London, Skinner and Dyke, Desenfans sale, 28 Nov. 1795 (as 'Cardinal blessing the Founder of Lorretto' ie. perhaps Lazzaretto?); 1804 Insurance List, no. 7; London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1807-1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Further Information: The canvas is a fragment of a large altarpiece of which the lower left portion is now in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, the upper portion in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and the head of Saint Michael in the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas. Saint Jerome is dressed as a Cardinal and accompanied by his traditional symbol of a lion. He holds a church, which refers to his role as one of the four Fathers of the Church. At the left edge are the hand holding a balance and part of the drapery of a figure of Saint Michael trampling the Devil (whose forearm appears at the bottom). The altarpiece was painted for Antonio and Girolamo Petrobelli for their chapel in the church of San Francesco at Lendinara near Rovigo. The donor in the Dulwich fragment is Girolamo (d.1587). An inscription on the stone altar of the chapel bore the date 1563 and, though usually dated later, the altarpiece was presumably painted at approximately the same time.
  • Artist: Veronese, Paolo
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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