Saint Jerome in the Wilderness, after Titian
38.8 cm x 53.5 cm (15 1/4 in. x 21 1/16 in.)
Attributed to Nicolò Boldrini
(active Vicenza (?), circa 1500 – )
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Woodcut reached a very high level in 16th-century Venice, where, notably in Titian’s circle, it was preferred to engraving for the reproduction of paintings and drawings. Boldrini developed its basic language of long, curvilinear cuts and sustained pictorial effects on a large scale. Saint Jerome in the wilderness was a favorite subject in Venetian art. Here the penitent and his faithful lion are set amid an ideal panorama of the kind pioneered by Titian and establishing the classical landscape tradition. The composition depends generally on a painting that Titian executed for Isabella d’Este between 1523 and 1531 (today in the Louvre), while the cliff and trees on the right were specifically prepared in a drawing now at Edinburgh. Although damaged along a center crease, this impression is especially even in its inking and clear in its printing.