Belonged to an illustrious family, Ferrara.
Frame dimensions: 120 x 95 cm Canvas dimensions: 115 x 90 cm
We are pleased to present to you this important and splendid oil on linen canvas mounted on a double-wedge pine wood frame, an Emilian painter from the entourage of Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, nicknamed il Guercino (Cento, February 2, 1591 - Bologna , 22 December 1666) was an Italian painter.Guercino's nickname must have been added to him very quickly, his strabismus may have influenced his pictorial rendering of forms in space.
Biographers rightly approach Caravaggio more or less closely with Guercino for his reference to reality, but it should not be associated with the use of contrasts of light, which in Caravaggio are a means of highlighting plasticity. of form, while in Guercino the search for luminosity is an end in itself, that is to say, it aims to obtain purely luminous effects.
Guercino took the initiative, in 1617, to found a painting school in Cento: his friend Bartolomeo Fabbri gave him two rooms and they came here from Bologna, Ferrara, Modena, Rimini, Reggio and from France many young people.
Considered one of the most representative artists of the maturity phase of the Baroque, his technical skill and the originality of the brushstroke had a considerable influence on the evolution of decorations in the 17th century.
Found in a private chapel of a noble palace near Ferrara, this work represents the image of San Girolamo de Guercino kept at the Royal Palace of Naples.
San Girolamo was one of the four fathers of the church, he lived in the 4th century and translated the Bible from Greek to Latin, it was called "Vulgata editio" (version for the people). He is known for his life as an “anchorist” (withdrawing from the world). These were people who lived isolated from society or who refused material goods, retiring to an isolated place to pray and meditate.
In this work Saint Jerome is present with some of his attributes, such as the crucifix and the book, the brushstrokes are energetic and the study of anatomy is meticulous, leaving the advanced age and thinness of the character marked. Contrasts of light and shadow are used, under the influence of other artists of the moment who marked the works of the Baroque like Caravaggio or Ribera and who clearly influenced the painter.
We are in front of an oil painting which shows us the penitent Saint Jerome, in a scene very represented in the religious iconography of the XVIIth century. Iconographically we see the saint with his hands crossed in an attitude of prayer, his torso partially covered with a red sheet in front of a crucifix, which he fixes, and a book placed on a rock which serves as a table, since the scene is framed in a dark area with a blue background, so we can understand that it is a cave inside.
A fine example of 17th century Bolognese painting, having been commissioned by ecclesiastics, is a devotional painting, where the figures depicted are, for the most part, penitent, but not sad, and where providence is an element of hope always present in the eyes and underlined by delicate and luminous features.
Expertise by Mr. Sergio Schina
Cleaning and restoration by Mrs. Eva Moreno Serrano, graduate of the University of Seville - Faculty of Fine Arts Santa Isabel of Hungary with specialization in conservation and restoration of paintings and sculptures, Master in creation and communication cultural projects of the Chamber of Toledo Commerce and European Master in Art, Culture, Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage.
A detailed technical report is published, with photos, the state of conservation before and after the restoration with a description and dates by Dr Eva Moreno Serrano and this gives added value to the work.