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.
- 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)
- Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection