ES - EN - FR - PT - IT

Vatican Museums

Don't miss anything

St Geronimo

Leonardo da Vinci, 1480

It is not clear who commissioned this work and it was found in two parts and unfinished. Leonardo's inventories mention that he made several San Jerónimos, although only this one is the one they have found.

The theme is San Jerónimo in the desert. Jeronimo is presented as a penitent, occupying the center of the picture with a quite dramatic posture, especially if we analyze the face, which manages to transmit at the same time its suffering and its spirituality. In the foreground extends its symbol, a large lion whose body and tail make a double spiral along the base of the pictorial space.

The saint stands at the entrance of a dark cave. The other remarkable feature is the schematic landscape of steep rocks against which the figure is cut. On its right, there are rocks, while on the left there is a landscape characterized by a set of sharp peaks, which are barely noticeable in the greenish preparation of the table. This abrupt scenario brings to the painting emotion and a certain mystery. The only vestige of civilization that appears in it is a classical architecture, a church, drawn in the upper right part of the table.

Vatican Museums