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Title St Jerome Visited by Angels
Collection Calderdale MBC Libraries, Museums and Arts
Artist Attributed to circle of Champaigne, Phillippe de (French painter and draftsman, 1602-1674)
Attributed to manner of Dauphin, Charles (French painter, ca.1620-ca.1677)
Previously attributed to Ribera, Jusepe de (Spanish painter and printmaker, baptized in 1591, died 1652, active in Italy)
Date Earliest about 1640
Date Latest about 1660
Description This fine quality painting was probably produced in France around 1640-1660 by an artist inspired by Caravaggio and French painters such as Philippe de Champaigne and Simon Vouet. It shows St Jerome receiving a vision of the angel announcing the Last Judgement whilst working on his Latin translation of The Bible. The lion is a reference to another story when Jerome removed a thorn from its paw. The artist has combined all these different episodes from Jerome's life to emphasise his holiness. Jerome was important to the Catholic Church at this time as Protestants had rejected the Latin Bible.
Current Accession Number 1974.696
Former Accession Number 394
Subject religion (St Jerome); figure; animal (lion)
Measurements 154.5 x 120.2 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Transferred from Brighouse Municipal Borough Council, 1974.
Provenance Given by William and Susan Smith to Smith Art Gallery, Brighouse, 1909.
Publications 'More Pictures for Brighouse: Another Gift by Alderman Smith', Brighouse Echo, 29 January 1909, p. 8.
Notes

Reverse on stretcher label uc '1118'; on canvas ul '948'; on canvas chalk lr '145'; on stretcher ur Smith Art Gallery, Brighouse label no. 394.

Not listed in 1946 list of paintings for loan.

Provenance confirmed by newspaper reports.

Listed in 1970 manuscript catalogue as no. 394 with note: Michael Levey (National Gallery) 'nothing to do with Ribera in my opinion 17th C conceivably French (ie in the area of Phillipe de Champaigne)'.

The quality of the piece suggests a very proficient painter, whilst the size indicates that the work may have been commissioned, or at least made for the market by an established painter. Xavier Bray, Assistant Curator, National Gallery, London, concurred with Levey's opinion, suggesting an artist working in Liège around 1640 to 1660, correspondence 24 May 2006. In correspondence with Ann Chevalier, curator at the Musée d'Art Wallon, Liège, this suggestion was rejected. The expert Pierre-Yves Kairis thought French school, see correspondence 12 July 2006. Humphrey Wine, National Gallery, suggested Charles Dauphin, but with some doubt, see correspondence 7 August 2006.

Vouet painted a version of the subject which has some iconographic similarities to the Halifax work, St Jerome, Washington, about 1625

The way the painting is put together along a diagonal axis, with attributes piled up on the right hand side, and the rocky cave looking through to light behind bears similarities with Ribera's work of 1626, now Naples Capodimonte, St Jerome and the Angel, 1626, Oil on canvas, 262 x 164 cm, another version in the Hermitage. The two painters may have known a similar source: another, possibly lost, painting of this theme.

For the subject see the useful summary in Felton, C. and Jordan, W. B., (ed.), Jusepe de Ribera, lo Spagnoletto 1591-1652, Fortworth, 1982, pp. 113-7.

Rights Owner Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council Museums and Arts
Author Dr Phillippa Plock
 

 

 

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