Joos van Cleve
St. Jerome

First half of 16th century
Cathedral Museum, Burgos, Spain

In this period St. Jerome was often represented with spectacles such as those seen here on the desk in front of the skull. The skull itself joins the clock and the two nearly-extinguished candles in calling attention to the transience of the world that we see through the window. It is also a conventional prop in images of contemplatives, as are the crucifix on the mantle and the scourge in the lower left of the painting.

Below the clock we see a laver, a pot-shaped vessel for the water that priests and deacons used to wash their hands before the eucharistic liturgy.

More of St. Jerome

Photographed at the museum by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.