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Rest after the flight into Egypt with St Jerome
16th Century
Rest after the flight into Egypt with St Jerome
[Riposo dopo la fuga in Egitto]
Oil on canvas
83.8 x 99 cm  [HxW]
Simon Dickinson, Londra

The pastoral setting of this composition which is reminiscent of Giorgione, together with a use of colour clearly derived from Titian reveal the formative influences on Bordone’s work. The penitent St Jerome, whose reclining figure is repeated in the Holy Family with Sts Elizabeth, John and Jerome (now in Dresden), seems to see the Holy Family as if in a vision as he looks up from his open book of scripture. Christ’s calling as the Redeemer of Mankind from original sin is foretold in Joseph’s action of passing the apple — the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and symbol of the Fall of Man — to the Child. The facial types and treatment of the draperies can be compared to the altarpiece of a Holy Family with St Jerome and Angels painted by Bordone for the church of San Celso in Milan and for which he was paid in 1542.

Anna Roumiantsev

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