83. Jacopo Negretti, called Palma il Giovane

Venice 1548/50 – 1628 Venice

Saint Jerome in Penitence

The penitent St Jerome was the frequent subject of paintings and drawings by Palma il Giovane. This study appears to have had no other purpose other than to experiment with a new variation of the figure and the play of light. After an initial sketch in black chalk, redefined with pen and ink, Palma applied a dense brown wash to indicate shadows, adding both accents and flat areas of colour. The strong contrast with the brightness of the blank areas of the paper gives this sheet an intense, almost artificial luminosity that echoes the eloquence of the Venetian’s paintings.