Originally created in c. 1555-56, this exquisite landscape print is based on a drawing by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Etched and engraved by Jan and Lucas van Duetecum on Double Eagle watermarked paper [M.244], dating the print to the late 1500s. Inscribed in the lower right: brueghel Inue | h cock excu.
According to N. Orenstein (2001), “Saint Jerome prays under a tree, bent over a book as his lion lazes behind him. The saint has turned his back on a magnificent landscape – hardly a wilderness – occupied by many minute figures and details: travelers, people with carts, a ferry drawn by horses, ships, and such. A mountainside in the middle ground is crowned by a fortress; beyond that a riverscape leads off into the distance. This is one of three prints in the Large Landscapes group with a biblical subject. Here, as with the other examples, it is not clear whether Bruegel’s original intention was to depict a religious theme. The saint seems almost an afterthought, and the figures and the title were no doubt added by the publisher” (p. 125).