Guido Reni (1575-Bologna-1642)
The work was painted early in the artist´s career, during the artist´s Roman sojourn. Reni arrived in Rome at the end of 1601. In 1605 he paid early tribute to Caravaggio (1571-1610) in the Crucifixion of Saint Peter (Rome, Vatican Picture Gallery) painted for Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini. This is the language used for the Saint Jerome, at a point when Reni, struck by the revolution brought about by the great Lombard painter, aimed to approximate his style as closely as possible.
The skilful use of chiaroscuro supports the figure´s expressive and monumental aspects.
The artist´s youthful style is reflected in the painterly freedom of handling, especially fluid in the hands and the great flowing beard and locks of hair, as well as in the swiftly-rendered stone. Carefully-studied light is mainly applied to the face: the saint seems bathed in his faith, and the sense of spirituality is accentuated by the bust-length format.
"Old Master Paintings"