Ribera’s works were largely influenced by his knowledge of Caravaggio’s dramatic chiaroscuro and his own inclination to a naturalistic treatment of the representation. A native od Spain, Ribera worked mainly in Naples, where he served the Viceroy of Spain; in Rome he became a member of the Academy of St Luke, and in 1631 he was appointed Knight of the Order of Christ. In this painting, he represented the popular Saint Jerome as translating biblical texts into Latin in a cave. Jerome used to be depicted either as a cardinal in appropriate robes, or as an ascetic old man, who is very vital in his work. As can also be seen in Ribera’s painting, his traditional attributes were a lion, whose paw he cured, with the animal thus becoming his faithful companion, and a skull, which is a sign of penitent hermits, and at the same time, a traditional symbol of transience of life or vanity (vanitas).