Initial E: Saint Jerome in His Study
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Italian, Lombardy, about 1470 - 1480
Tempera and gold on parchment
5 11/16 x 5 1/2 in.

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Saint Jerome, who single-handedly translated the entire Bible into Latin in the years around 400, sits at a writing desk with a quill pen in one hand and a knife (used to sharpen and erase) in the other hand. Other objects depicted associated with the making of manuscripts are an inkhorn, hanging from the top right of the chair, a candle, and a dish, probably for grinding pigments, at the top.

Jerome, who is one of the four church fathers, is dressed in his cardinal's outfit. Notable in the figure of Jerome is the refinement with which his face is modeled. An uncommon feature of this miniature is the silver leaf that was used to create the saint's distinguished gray beard.