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The Dream of Saint Jerome

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

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  • A work made of tempera on panel.




Matteo di Giovanni
Italian, c. 1430-1495

About this artwork

With the Art Institute’s Saint Augustine’s Vision and a Crucifixion scene, this panel formed the base, or predella, of an altarpiece commissioned from Matteo di Giovanni by the Placidi family in 1476. Its center, which depicts the Virgin and Child appearing to Saints Jerome and John the Baptist, remains in the church of San Domenico, Siena. The two small narrative panels in the Art Institute honor Saint Jerome as both a holy hermit and a learned father of the Church. Even after he retreated to the wilderness, Jerome took pleasure in reading the literature of pagan Rome; this scene depicts his dream that he is called before a heavenly judge for choosing pagan authors over the Bible. The painting’s impact is heightened by the combination of the expressive figures and intense color scheme with a rational architecture evoking the antique world that Jerome rejected.


On View, Gallery 204


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Matteo di Giovanni


The Dream of Saint Jerome






Tempera on panel


14 3/4 × 25 7/8 in. (37.4 × 65.7 cm); painted surface: 14 1/8 × 25 3/8 in. (35.8 × 64.4 cm)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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