National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Saint Jerome in the Desert Desiderio da Settignano (artist)
Florentine, c. 1429 - 1464
Saint Jerome in the Desert, c. 1461
overall: 42.7 x 54.8 cm (16 13/16 x 21 9/16 in.) framed: 58.4 x 70.2 x 9.5 cm (23 x 27 5/8 x 3 3/4 in.)
Widener Collection
On View
From the Tour: Florentine Sculpture of the 15th Century
Object 3 of 8


Possibly the marble "basso relievo" of "San Gírolamo" in the "Prima Stanza della guardaroba segreta" in Palazzo Vecchio in 1553.[1] (Tito Gagliardi, Florence); purchased c. 1870 by Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaévna [1819-1876, daughter of Czar Nicolas I] as a gift to Baron Karl Eduard von Liphart [1808-1891], Florence;[2] removed c. 1891 to the family estate, Raadi Manor, near Tartu, Estonia (known in German as Schloss Ratshof, near Dorpat);[3] his grandson, Baron Renaud de Liphart, Raadi Manor, by 1907,[4] then Poland,[5] and later Copenhagen; purchased 1921 through (Wilhelm R. Valentiner, New York) by the Estate of Peter A.B. Widener;[6] inheritance from the Estate of Peter Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, after purchase 1921 by funds of Joseph E. Widener; gift 1942 to NGA.

[1] Nicholas Penny (citing Cosimo Conti, La prima reggia di Cosimo I de' Medici nel Palazzo già della Signoria di Firenze, Florence, 1893: 141), in Desiderio da Settignano: Sculptor of Renaissance Florence, exh. cat., Musée du Louvre, Paris; Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Florence, 2007: 192, no. 15.

[2] Sergey Androsov, "Collection de la Grande Duchesse Marie Nicolaévna et de Karl Eduard von Liphart," Baltic Journal of Art History (Autumn 2011-Spring 2012): 294-296. Androsov quotes from an unpublished manuscript by Liphart's son, Ernst von Liphart (1847-1932), in the archives of the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg: "L'(h)eritage du duchesse Marie," fond 23, opis' I, delo 69, ff. 2, 3. See also Wilhelm von Bode, Italienische Bildhauer der Renaissance: Studien zur Geschichte der Italienischen Plastik und Malerei auf Grund der Bildwerke und Gemälde in den Königl. Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, 1887: 55-57. Baron von Liphart was an Estonian nobleman residing in Florence, and was Maria Nikolaévna's principal consultant in the formation of her collection.

[3] Wilhelm Bode, "Eine Marmorkopie Michelangelo's nach dem antiken Cameo mit Apollo und Marsyas," Jahrbuch der königlich preussischen Kunstsammlungen, 12, 1891: 167; Wilhelm Neuman, "Aus Baltischen Gemäldersammlungen," Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst, 35, vol. II of new series (December 1900): 269, fig. 6; from Penny 2007.

[4] Published as in this collection by Paul Schübring, Donatello, des Meisters Werke in 277 Abbildungen, Stuttgart and Leipzig, 1907: 186.

[5] Melissa Beck Lemke, "The mysteries of Desiderio's 'St. Jerome' revealed by Clarence Kennedy," The Burlington Magazine 150 (November 2008): 756, 756 n. 17, 757.

[6] See correspondence between Valentiner and Baron de Liphart, then in Copenhagen, dated 1921, in NGA curatorial files.

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