SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This fresco, painted by Domenico Ghirlandio in 1480, in the Church of the Ognissanti in Florence, is one of a pair depicting two of the Doctors of the Church of the 4thth century AD. The second fresco (by Botticelli), is of St. Augustine in his study. As with St. Augustine, St Jerome (c.AD 340-420) sits surrounded by scholarly books and instruments and arrested in the act of writing. His importance in the process of establishing the Christian church after its adoption as the state religion of the Roman Empire arises from his translation of the Old and New Testaments into Latin, known as the Vulgate. This became the official Roman Catholic Bible for the next thousand years. The inclusion of the books and instruments illustrates the Renaissance view of the value of combining classical, pre-Christian thought and learning with the spiritual values of religion.
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