Carlo Braccesco, The Four Doctors of the Church

Late 15th century
Galleria Giorgio Franchetti, Venice, Italy

Left to right: St. Gregory the Great (papal tiara), St. Ambrose (scourge, mitre, crozier), St. Augustine (mitre, crozier), and St. Jerome (red hat).

On the right is St. Jerome. In the 4th century he was an adviser to Pope Damasus I, so he is pictured in the red cape that would later characterize cardinals. His book refers to his many studies of scripture.

The other saints were all bishops. On the left Gregory, bishop of Rome from 590 to 604, wears the papal tiara (another anachronism) and a cope over a simple alb. The pattern on the cope is repeated on the chasubles of Ambrose and Augustine in the center. Both have mitres and croziers to represent their status as bishops. Ambrose holds a flail that represents his insistence on his spiritual Authority over the Emperor; its three cords reference his vigorous defense of Trinitarian doctrine against Arianism.

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