Saint Jerome in the Desert
Desiderio da Settignano (c. 1430-1464)
Florentine, mid-15th century
This relief of Jerome illustrates the saint in typical iconography.
Jerome (345/7-420) was a doctor of the Church. He is credited with
the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. In 375-6 he went into
the desert to live as a penitent ascetic. In this relief, Jerome
is depicted in the desert its barren landscape characterized by
the stylized rocky crags. Dressed in ragged clothes, he kneels beneath
an image of the crucified Christ. A lion, one of Jeromes attribute,
and a lioness enter the scene from the left. According to a second
century legend, Jerome removed a thorn from a lions paw, thus
befriending the animal for life.
Francis Adoring the Crucifix
Francesco Trevisani (1656-1746)
Oil on canvas
The meditation represented here precedes the moment when Saint
Francis receives the stigmata, the injuries Jesus incurred during
crucifixion. In this painting Francis is shown in quiet contemplation
his hands clasped in prayer meditating on the Word represented by
the crucifix and the Bible on which it rests. Francis is identifiable
by two of his attributes: his brown, homespun robe and the crucifix.
The juxtaposition of the crucifix and skull suggest his contemplation
of the eternal salvation that Jesus death brings.