Saint Jerome in a Dark Chamber

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Saint Jerome in a Dark Chamber
In this etching, Rembrandt revisited a subject he and his Leiden colleagues had treated numerous times in paint - the scholar in his study. By conceiving the image as a nocturnal scene, Rembrandt succeeded in evoking a deeply serene and spiritual atmosphere. St. Jerome is deeply immersed in thought. The skull and crucifix symbolise transience and redemption. We barely make out Jerome’s attributes in the murk: a cardinal’s hat handing from the stair rail and a lion lying under the table. The interpenetration of light and darkness has an important symbolic function and highlights con-ceptually significant motifs. The contemplative mood of these etchings may also reflect Rembrandt's personal grief during the period, as his wife Saskia succumbed to a prolonged illness on 4 June 1642.
measurements: height 150 mm
width 174 mm
in collections:
material: paper
technique: etching, engraving, drypoint (State II)
inventory number: R 143739
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings
author of the entry PhDr. Blanka KUBÍKOVÁ, Ph.D.