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Virgin and child, Saint Vincent Ferrer and Saint Jerome

Virgin and child, Saint Vincent Ferrer and Saint Jerome

Inv. No. CE4/00258

This painting on a wooden panel with indented sides is by an unknown artist. It displays three figures, the Virgin Mary and child, Saint Vincent Ferrer on the right and Saint Jerome on the left.

Saint Vincent is shown dressed in the Dominican habit. He is holding a book to symbolise the faith he stayed true to and his right arm is raised, pointing with his index finger. This gesture is typical of this saint’s iconography, as according to popular legend, he performed many miracles by holding up his index finger.

Saint Jerome, who translated the Bible from Greek to Latin and was one of the Fathers of the Church, appears in this painting with some of his characteristic attributes, such as the cardinal hat and robes, the lion and scale model of the Church. The lion’s presence refers to the well-known episode in the saint’s life when he was meditating on the River Jordan’s shore and he saved a lion by removing a thorn from its paw. As a sign of its gratitude, from that moment onwards the lion never left his side.

The edges of the wooden panel appear to have been engraved with a chisel but there is no gold leaf. On the far left is Saint Paul the Hermit holding a rosary in his hands, while the figure on the far right is thought to be Saint Anthony Abbot. On the top part of the panel two Dominican busts are featured. It is thought that one of them is Saint Thomas and the other is another Dominican saint.

Item displayed in the Medieval Architectural Ceramics Room, second floor.


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