Italian school of the first half of the 17th century attributed to Luciano Borzone (Genoa, 1590-1645) and workshop.
Saint Jerome under the trumpets of the last judgment
Canvas 95 cm by 74.5 cm
Superb frame of 129 cm by 98 cm
Luciano Borzone (Genoa, 1590-1645)
Son of Silvestro and Veronica Bertolotto, he was initiated by the family into literary studies which he abandoned in favor of painting, influenced by his association with his painter uncle, Filippo Bertolotto.
Thanks to the interest of Alberico I Cybo-Malaspina, prince of Massa, he entered the school of Cesare Corte. He met Giovanni Carlo Doria, for whom he created various works and whom he followed, around 1614 in Milan as an art consultant.
In the Milanese city, Borzone comes into contact with the Lombard art of the 17th century and receives numerous commissions. Back in Genoa, he opened a store on his own, specializing in portraits.
Borzone, married to the granddaughter of music teacher Gerolamo Morello, had three children, all painters: Francesco, Giovanni Battista and Carlo. Among his pupils, in addition to his children, we must mention Giovanni Battista Monti, Gioacchino Assereto, Silvestro Chiesa and Baciccio.
He died when he fell from scaffolding as he was finishing the Nativity scene, kept in the Chapel of the Madonna degli Angeli in the Basilica of Santissima Annunziata del Vastato in Genova.
The life of Saint Jerome
Saint Jerome of Stridon was born around 347 in present-day Croatia to Christian and wealthy parents. He died in 420 in Bethlehem. After studying in Rome he won in 373 the Holy Land where he lived as a hermit in the desert of Chalcis in Syria. After his ordination in Antioch he returned to Rome in 383 where, secretary to Pope Damasus, he translated the Bible into Latin at his request. When the Pope died, he went to Bethlehem, where he founded a monastery where for 34 years he devoted himself to translating into Latin the Greek and Hebrew texts of the Old and New Testaments. This translation will later take the name of Vulgate. In addition to this work, he argues, often excessively, against the theories of other theologians of the time, such as Jovinien, Origen or Pelagius, whose supporters burned his monastery forcing him to take refuge in Bethlehem. When he died his remains were buried in Jerusalem, then transferred to Rome in the basilica of Saint Mary Major. He is considered a Father of the Church and the patron saint of translators and librarians.
Saint Jerome and the Lion
The golden legend tells the story of the meeting of the saint and the lion. Walking in the desert, Saint Jerome finds himself in front of a lion who, instead of attacking him, licks his paw unhappily.
Saint Jerome, full of pity, removes the thorn that wounded him. Accompanied by the grateful lion, he returns to his monastery where the beast first throws fear and fear. But in front of his gentleness and affection for the saint, the monks fell in love with the lion and entrusted him with guarding the donkey of the monastery. But one day, the lion returns alone because Bedouins had kidnapped the donkey. Accused of having eaten it, the lion suffered with patience and humility the penance that was inflicted on him, then disappeared. He found the thieves, put them to flight, then brought the donkey back to the monastery, but, exhausted by his research, he died at the feet of Saint Jerome.