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St. Jerome In The Desert by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

St. Jerome In The Desert by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

R. S. Johnson Fine Art (IFPDA)



Edition Size: unknown

Sheet Size: 32.2 x 42.4 cm

Reference: Bastelaer 7


Condition: Pristine

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St. Jerome in the Desert, 1555-56

Engraving by Joannes and Lucas van Doetecum (Deventer active by 1551 – c. 1569 Haarlem)
322 x 424 mm.; 12 5/8 x 16 11/16 inches

Horn in Shield (Briquet 7867), dated by Briquet

Bastelaer 7
Lebeer 2
Hollstein 7
Orenstein (Peter Bruegel the Elder Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001) no. 25

A very fine, early, particularly strong impression. With watermark Horn in Shield (cf. Briquet 7867, dated by Briquet as Basel 1586). Some minor abrasions in blank area below image. A spot of discoloration in sky. Trace of centerfold. Backed with light mulberry paper. With thread margins around the full image.

The historical St. Jerome (born as Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus in about A.D. 340) had decided on biblical studies as a “life style”. To accomplish this, he went as a hermit into the wasteland of Chalcis, south and east of Antioch. In this engraving after Bruegel, we see to the far right a Saint Jerome immersed in his studies. However, instead of the wasteland of Chalcis, Bruegel’s St. Jerome finds himself in a Netherlandish landscape imaginarily combined with the artist’s Alpine memories.

This work, attributed earlier to Hieronymus Cock, is now considered by Orenstein as being by the Doetecum brothers (see reference above).

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The Artist

Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder was the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, a painter and printmaker from Brabant, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes; he was a pioneer in making both types of subject the focus in large paintings.

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