St. Jerome reading in a Cave

WAG 7278


St Jerome was the great scholar of the Church who translated the Bible into Latin in the late 4th century. For some years he lived as a hermit in the desert, as shown here. The eagle fighting with a snake, and the lion (Jerome's usual symbol) confronting a dragon, represent the saint's struggle against evil and paganism. His feet rest on a cardinal's hat, a reference to his period of service as the Pope's secretary. Jerome was born in Dalmatia - present day Croatia - and his cult had a strong following there. The initials and heraldic symbols along the bottom edge are those of Alvise Lando, governor of the Dalmatian town of Trogir 1470-2.