Saint Jerome reading in a Landscape

Giovanni Belliniabout 1480-5

The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery, London
London, United Kingdom

Saint Jerome is shown in his penitential retreat in the Syrian wilderness, where he retired about 374-6. He studies the Bible, which he translated into Latin from the original Greek and Hebrew around 400 AD, and is accompanied by the lion from whose paw, according to legend, he drew out a thorn. His cave is in the wilderness, but a walled city like those in the mainland territories of Venice can be seen in the distance.

This painting has sometimes been regarded as by a follower of Bellini. It is known in other versions.


  • Title: Saint Jerome reading in a Landscape
  • Creator: Giovanni Bellini
  • Date Created: about 1480-5
  • Physical Dimensions: 46.8 × 33.8 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • School: Italian (Venetian)
  • More Info: Explore the National Gallery’s paintings online
  • Inventory number: NG281
  • Artist Dates: active about 1459; died 1516
  • Artist Biography: Giovanni Bellini was born into the leading dynasty of Venetian painters. He seems to have been the younger brother of Gentile Bellini. His development was first shaped by his father, Jacopo. His brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna also influenced early works, such as 'The Blood of the Redeemer' and 'The Agony in the Garden'. The visit of Antonello da Messina to Venice in 1475-6 may also have influenced him. Many signed paintings survive, as well as a number of workshop productions, including works on this screen. 'The Assassination of Saint Peter Martyr' is now thought to be by him rather than by his workshop. In his old age Bellini executed a few secular narrative paintings, of which the greatest is 'The Feast of the Gods', later modified by Titian.
  • Acquisition Credit: Bought, 1855

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