Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam), St. Jerome Reading in an Italian Landscape, ca. 1653. Etching, drypoint, and engraving on oatmeal paper; second state of two, plate: 10 3/16 x 8 1/4 in. (25.9 x 21 cm). Gift of Felix M. Warburg and his family, 1941. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 41.1.17 © 2000–2016 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Rembrandt depicted Saint Jerome many times, here as a contented old man reading. The print reflects Rembrandt's great admiration for Venetian art, particularly in the landscape and buildings in the background, which were inspired by the work of Giulio (ca. 1482–after 1515) and Domenico (1500–1564) Campagnola.
The marked contrast between the briefly sketched saint and the more polished areas of the print creates an initial impression of unfinish. Rembrandt's sketch for the print shows that he originally intended to darken the saint and the foreground. In the end, however, he left them blank but for the outlines in order to create an effect of bright sunlight.
This work is exhibited in the "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Invisible" exhibition, on view through September 4th, 2016. #MetBreuer