St Jerome Reading in an Italian Landscape, 1654 by Rembrandt

Rembrandt's last depiction of St Jerome, an etching of about 1654 is also his most idyllic. Wearing a broad-brimmed sunhat, rather than a more formal cardinal's hat, Jerome is here seateda nd reading in a wooded and hilly landscape with buildings reminiscent of Venetian examples of the sixteenth century. Standing guard over him is his magnificent lion, the muscular torsion of its body echoing the pose of the saint, in seeming sympathy. Mirroring their curves are those of the twisted tree at the upper left, the harmony of these separate elements suggesting what had so often attracted Rembrandt to this theme, which happily combines three of the favourite motifs of his art: a lion, landscape and learned man.