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Saint Jerome Extracting a Thorn from a Lion's Paw by Master of the Murano Gradual

Saint Jerome Extracting a Thorn from a Lion's Paw, 1500

Master of the Murano Gradual

A dramatic scene from the life of the doctor-saint Jerome plays out in every available space on this illustrated page from a medieval choir book. The saint is performing a life-threatening task, using delicate gold tweezers to remove a thorn from a lion’s paw, while in the background, a monk scurries toward them with ointment and a bandage. You can tell by the fearful expression on the monk’s face that this is dangerous work, yet Saint Jerome appears calm. Look at the crisp hemline of the saint’s cloak to see the artist’s mastery of line.

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Credit
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles