Saint Augustine's Vision

These paintings tell the story of St Augustine’s vision of St Jerome, taken from an apocryphal letter attributed to Augustine. The letter is referred to in a book called Hieronymus: vita et transitus, published in Venice around 1485, not long before Carpaccio worked on his version of the story. Andrew Graham-Dixon, on his website, ( suggests that the theme was unfamiliar to artists before the publication of this book, but versions such as that of Gozzoli and Giovanni do Paolo were painted earlier.
    In the letter Augustine claims to have been sitting in his study one evening writing a letter to Jerome about the bliss souls can expect in Paradise. There was a sudden light, and it was revealed to Augustine that Jerome had just died. He was even now enjoying the bliss of Paradise, which Augustine as a mortal could never comprehend.
Carpaccio and Gozzoli show the vision as a bright light; Giovanni di Paolo shows Jerome, while
In Matteo di Giovanni's painting, John the Baptist (another desert hermit)  has come along too.

Vittorre Carpaccio - The vision of St Augustine
San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, Venice


Matteo di Giovanni
Art institute of Chicago

Giovanni di Paolo
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Benozzo Gozzoli
Apsidal chapel, Sant'Agostino, San Gimignano

   Jerome clearly had a busy afterlife: images exist of appearances to other monks and clerics such as St Cyril.

St. Jerome Index 
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