The subjected represented is Saint Jerome penitent. The saint is writing a letter in front of the crucifix while the lion is sleeping close to his feet; the scene is set into an elegant grotto with classical architecture and on the background stand out the skyline of a town. On the cartouche there is the inscription Magnitudo coelestiu(m) beneficio(rum), that is the beginning of the XXXVIII letter from Saint Jerome.
This painting is a direct derivation of a model of the same dimensions, dated of the last quarter of the XVI century, now part of the collection of the Galleria Sabauda in Turin. This iconography became so popular and appreciated that it’s possible to count a considerable number of variants (like the one in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, in the Vatican Pinacotheca and the one in Malta).
Our version follows the prototype of the Sabauda and, considering the high quality of the painting, it came directly from the workshop of Antonio Campi who actively participated in the realization.
[Expertise from Marco Tanzi, professor of History of Art at University of Salento ]