This refined panel, hitherto unpublished, is a relatively early work by Garofalo, who was, with Dosso Dossi, one of the outstanding masters of the High Renaissance in Ferrara. Trained by the Cremonese master, Boccaccio Boccaccino, from 1497, but strongly influenced by his townsman Domenico Panetti, Garofalo was by 1505-6 aware of the grand classicism of Costa and Francia in Bologna. Later in the decade he responded to the poetry of Giorgione, as this panel exemplifies so well. Chronologically it may be placed with such works as the Holy Family with Saints John the Baptist and Elizabeth (A.M.F. Baraldi, Il Garofalo, Rimini, 1993, no. 32), equally intimate in format, in which the Madonna's mantle is painted with the rather unusual lilac also seen in the present Saint's robes. This places the Saint Jerome to the end of the first decade of the cinquecento, and thus earlier than the somewhat larger panel of similar format in the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans (Kress Collection; Baraldi, no. 86, where dated about 1520), in which many of the same compositional elements are found. In both this and the New Orleans picture Garofalo, who was an instinctive landscapist, with the plainsman's thirst for hills, makes a trifling iconographical error by showing great rivers, in this instance with a weir, in his backgrounds: for the desert of Calchis to which the Saint withdrew was far from any river. In his final depiction of the Saint, the large panel of 1524 at Berlin (inv. no. 243: Baraldi, no. 107), Garofalo places him more properly under an overhanging rock in wild country.