German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer paints St. Jerome in the Wilderness, 1495, emaciated in a desertified landscape holding his bible. Jerome has cast off his red robe and cap, the adornments of his high church position.
He has foregone all the trappings of material existence and addresses himself to prayer and a direct connection with God in the company of his sole companion, the lion who he relieved of a thorn. The gold colors used by the artist; in the flesh of Jerome, the lion, and the sky tell us of the immaterial riches of heaven bestowed on the true and the faithful.
Albrecht Dürer’s St. Jerome in the Wilderness is in the National Gallery of London.