Bowes Museum: St Jerome & St Ambrose


The above tempera and gold on panel dates to 1510 and is the work of the High Renaissance painter Juan de Borgona. After originating in Burgundy, Borgona moved to Spain and settled in Toledo in 1495. Popular for their vivid colours and skilful depiction of costume, Borgona’s paintings incorporated tooled gold backgrounds which is characteristic of Castilian painting from this period. The above painting depicts St Jerome dressed in the red robes of a cardinal. St Jerome revised the Latin version of the Psalms and the New Testament while St Ambrose was a popular Bishop of Milan and composer of hymns. Together with St Jerome and St Ambrose, St Augustine and St Gregory were celebrated as the Fathers of the Church and were often represented in the wings of altarpieces. This painting once belonged to Alejandro Mon, the Spanish Ambassador in Paris, during the mid 19th century.


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