The Prayer of St. Jerome by Hieronymus Bosch

The Prayer of St. Jerome by Hieronymus Bosch

Painting “The Prayer of St. Jerome”. Saint Jerome was the patron saint of Hieronymus Bosch. Maybe that’s why the hermit is portrayed with sufficient restraint, even in comparison with the texts that the artist could read. For example, “No man lived as pure and pious as he did, but he constantly shuddered, he trembled with fear.” When he thought about the last day before the Last Judgment, he wrote: “Whatever I do, whether I ate, drinking, writing, reading, sleeping, awake, or doing something else – I always heard a trumpet “.”

In this picture of Bosch

we again see St. Jerome, prostrate in prayer and embrace the crucifixion. Nearby are his cloak, hat and book. Giant decaying fruits are reminiscent of voluptuous visions, which, according to the saint’s own testimony, clouded his pious reflections. There are no demons here, but the tiny lion at the left lower edge – the attribute of St. Jerome – seems scared to death: he frowned like a cat, looking at a half-sunken empty fruit resembling the earth’s sphere.

St. Jerome or Blessed Jerome of Stridon is one of the four Latin fathers of the Church. Jerome was a man of mighty intellect and fiery temperament. He traveled a lot and in his youth he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Later he retired for four years to the Chalcis desert, where he lived as a ascetic ascetic. Here he studied the Hebrew language and, in his own words, had, in his own words, “only scorpions and wild beasts.” In the desert, he heard the trumpets announcing the Last Judgment several times.

In Western European painting, he is often portrayed listening to angels trumpeting in tubes above his head. In 386, Jerome settled in Bethlehem. It was here that for many years he translated the Old and New Testaments into Latin. Eleven centuries later, his version was proclaimed by the Council of Trent as the official Latin text of Holy Scripture. According to the popular parable, Jerome took out a splinter from the paw of the lion, who has since become his devoted friend. In countless paintings, Saint Jerome is portrayed by a scientist sitting in a cell writing, next to a lion.

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