A good, small-size 19th century Mexican retablo depicting San Jeronimo. After a spiritual revelation, the saint lived as a hermit, often flagellating himself with a scourge and beating himself with rocks. He is shown here his traditional attributes of penitence--the bloody scourge, a skull, and rocks. He is often shown with fresh self-inflicted wounds, in this case a spray of blood droplets from his chest. San Jeronimo was the first to translate the Hebrew text of the Old Testament into Latin and is considered one of the four most learned founders of the Catholic church. The retablo also shows an open book to symbolize his efforts. A trumpet blasts into the saint's ear as a reminder of his spiritual awakening. And finally, a peaceful lion crouches next to the saint. This example is well-painted in muted colors that contrast nicely with the bright orangey-red color of the saint's cloak. Images of San Jeronimo were popular throughout Mexico, but it is estimated that he appears in less than 4% of all retablos.
Origin: Mexico, ca. 1880. Condition: excellent, no paint loss. Size: 5-3/8" x 7-3/8".