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The Temptation of Saint Jerome

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




Giorgio Vasari
Italian, 1511-1574

About this artwork

Best known for his Lives of the Artists, a monumental compendium of biographies, Giorgio Vasari was a successful architect and a prolific painter for the Medici dukes of Florence. As a learned artist, he imparted an allegorical element to this frequently depicted episode from the life of Saint Jerome. The saint—a scholar, translator of the Bible, and advocate of monasticism—vividly described the tempting visions that assailed him when he retreated to the desert to meditate. In this painting, Jerome contemplates a crucifix; his visions are personified as Venus, the goddess of love, accompanied by cupids. Although Venus seems to flee, one of the troublesome cupids still aims his arrow at the saint. The work is unfinished: the black-chalk grid, used as aid in enlarging and transferring the preparatory drawing onto the panel, is still visible through the initial thinly applied paint layers.

On View

Painting and Sculpture of Europe, Gallery 205


Giorgio Vasari


The Temptation of Saint Jerome






Oil on panel


65 1/2 × 48 in. (166.5 × 121.9 cm)

Credit Line

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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