El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (Greek, 15411614)
Oil on canvas; 42 1/2 x 34 1/4 in. (108 x 87 cm)
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.146)
Cloaked in the red vestments of a cardinal, Saint Jerome rests his hands on an open book, an allusion to his translation of the Bible from Greek to Latin in the fifth century. Artists have generally shown Saint Jerome as penitent ascetic, recalling his retreat to the Syrian desert. But by the fifteenth century, under the influence of Italian humanism, Jerome takes on the guise of a scholar.