Jan van Eyck?, St Jerome (Detroit) c. 1434
Jan van Eyck 1435-1440 St Jerome in his Study Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan
An inventory of 1492 records this painting hanging in the scrittoio of Lorenzo il Magnifico. It was painted for Cardinal Albergati (died 1443), who is identifed in the inscription on the letter on the table.
The books and other objects relate both to the saint ‘s intellectual pursuits and to religious symbolism. The jar labelled tyriaca (an antidote for snakebite) surmounted by a pomegranate (a symbol of the resurrection) refers to Christ as the saviour of the world.
The influence of this work can be seen in Ghirlandaio ‘s fresco of St Jerome (1481) in the Ognissanti.