Wednesday, December 14, 2022
The 3 Unique Styles to Depict St. Jerome in Art

While in Europe over the past few months, I came across dozens of depictions of St. Jerome. In fact, I started to make it a game of how many different depictions of St. Jerome I could find in museums. In the National Gallery in London, the Louve, and Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, I found many depictions of this saint. 

Interestingly, we have so few parishes named after him - only 29 out of more than 13,500 parishes in the United States - and so few children named after him. Yet the amount of art devoted to him in former times was considerable. 

I have found the depictions of St. Jerome tend to fall into three categories: St. Jerome the Cardinal, St. Jerome the Hermit, and St. Jerome the Translator of the Holy Scriptures. Some images combine all three elements, even if one is predominant. And in most, his companion, the lion, is seen. For a quick refresher on his holy life, click here.

St. Jerome the Cardinal

St. Jerome the Hermit

Notice the Cardinal Robe and Hat

Cardinal Hat again in view along with a lion to the left

Lion in view in the bottom right

St. Jerome, the Translator of the Holy Scriptures

Notice the Scriptures and the lion.

O God, Who in blessed Jerome, Thy Confessor, didst vouchsafe to provide for Thy Church a great teacher for expounding the Sacred Scripture: grant, we beseech Thee, that through his merits and prayers we may be able, by the help of Thy grace, to practice what he taught by both word and example. Through our Lord.

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