The most significant Renaissance bronze artist in the eastern region of Northern Italy was surely Andrea Riccio. He was chiefly active in the university city of Padua, whose intellectual climate is cogently apparent in plastic form in his work. This figure of a penitent St. Jerome is one of his few pieces on a Christian subject. Jerome, one of the four Church Fathers, wasted the early part of his life in dissipation before retiring to the wilderness to lead the ascetic life of a hermit. This small bronze shows him kneeling in passionate devotion, a stone and a cross in his hands. His mouth is open, as if he were uttering a prayer. In its intensity, this figurine is a votive image that prompts contemplation.


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