Saint Jerome in the Wilderness

Artist: Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bologna 1560–1609 Rome)

Date: ca. 1591

Medium: Etching and Engraving

Dimensions: 9 3/4 x 7 9/16 in. (24.8 x 19.2 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1926

Accession Number: 26.70.4(20)


Annibale Carracci was one of the most important artists working in Italy during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Together with his cousin Ludovico and his brother Agostino, he played a critical role in what has been labelled 'the reform of painting'. While the corpus of Annibale's prints is small (twenty-two known designs can be securely attributed to him), they were influential and illustrate the aesthetic aims to combine northern Italian naturalism with central Italian principles of design (known as disegno). Trained to use the burin by his brother Agostino, a professional engraver, Annibale soon turned to etching, a technique that allowed him to emulate the quick, fluid pen strokes of his drawings. Here the immediacy of the medium contributes to the expressive intensity of the representatoin of Saint Jerome, who, in the midst of his self-mortification, experiences a divine vision.