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Bust of a Man (Possibly St. Jerome)

European Art

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Bust of a Man (Possibly St. Jerome)

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Unidentified Artist

Date

1525

Medium

Polychromed wood

Accession #

64.21

Dimensions

17 x 10 x 8 inches

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

This powerful sculptural fragment may represent St. Jerome, an important early Christian theologian and bishop who spent several years as a hermit and penitent. In art, St. Jerome is often shown praying in the wilderness, striking his bare chest with a stone; the marks and remains of red paint on the chest of this figure would therefore accord with this identification. The unknown sculptor has been eloquent in expressing spirituality and asceticism: the figure’s fixed stare seems to be turned inward, his head is shaved, his body gaunt and strained from fasting and other deprivations.

Credit

Gift of Mrs. Irma N. Straus in memory of her husband, Jesse Isidor Straus

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