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  • Place of origin:

    Castel Durante (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1510-15 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Giovanni Maria (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by George Salting, Esq.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64, The Wolfson Gallery, case SS1

St. Jerome is one of the commonest saints on Italian Renaissance maiolica. He is normally portrayed in the wilderness, kneeling before a cross, his hand in a stone with which he penitentially beats his chest. On the present bowl the saint is portraited as a scholar in his study, with his lion companion; a popular iconography in Renaissance painting. The figure of the saint derives from a woodcut from the 'Biblia Italica', an illlustrated Italian translation of the Bible, first published in 1490 by Lucantonio Giunta in Venice (called the 'Malermi Bible' after its translator).

The type of ornament on the border, with trophies and putti painted with strong colours on a dark blue ground, relates the plate to a famous bowl in the Lehhman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, signed as made in 1508 in Castel Durante, in the Duchy of Urbino, by the potter 'Zoan Maria' (a form of the name Giovanni Maria). Although close in style, the painting of the present bowl, does not match the quality of the Lehman bowl and it can be attributed to a painter close to Giovanni Maria.

Physical description

Bowl, painted in dark blue, yellow, brown, copper green, manganese purple and opaque white. In the middle, St Jerome translating the Bible at a desk with a lectern and a crucifix beside him and a lion before him, in an open landscape.

Place of Origin

Castel Durante (probably, made)


ca. 1510-15 (made)


Giovanni Maria (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware


Diameter: 22.5 cm, Height: 4.6 cm, Weight: 0.36 kg

Object history note

George Salting bequest

Historical significance: The depiction of St Jerome copied with slight modifications from a woodcut in the edition of Malermi's Italian translation of the Bible published in Venice in 1490 by Lucantonio Giunta.

Descriptive line

Bowl depicting St Jerome; probably made in Castel Durante, ca 1510

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Rackham B., Italian Maiolica, London, Faber &Faber, 1952

Labels and date

BOWL with St Jerome
About 1515

St Jerome, identified by the lion at his side, is often portrayed as a scholar. Here he is copying from a book placed on a revolving lectern nearby. He wears a monk's habit and has his cardinal's hat from the front of his desk.

Italy, Castel Durante

Tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica)

Museum no. C.2148-1910 [2008]








Ceramics Collection

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