Monday, May 2, 2011

Prospero Fantana - Holy Family with St Jerome
Prospero Fontana - Holy Family with St Jerome, a female martyr and the infant St John the Baptist (1552)
Australia 28c Stamp issued 1980
Held in the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia

This impressive painting is thought to have been completed by Fontana while employed by Pope Julius III in the 1550s.  The artist had a long career in his native Bologna, Genoa, Florence and Rome.  The painting's figures are closely embraced to each other and interacting in a very personal manner.

St Jerome is also depicted in this painting, probably because he was responsible for the establishment of a hospice in Bethlehem in the 4th Century, in order to welcome pilgrams to the holy land.  He got up to quite a bit during his life, being fully devoted to the church.  He is also known for translating the bible into Latin.

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