Erasmus, Utopia, and the Jesuits: Essays on the Outreach of Humanism

By John C. Olin | Go to book overview

1
Erasmus and Saint Jerome: The Close Bond and Its Significance

I

IN THE WALTERS ART GALLERY in Baltimore there is a painting of Saint Jerome in his study by Antonio da Fabriano that is of particular interest. Save for the halo about the head of Jerome, it bears a striking resemblance to the Quentin Metsys portrait of Erasmus that was painted at Antwerp in 1517. The Fabriano painting dates from the mid-fifteenth century, but there is little likelihood that Metsys ever saw it or even knew of it. Fabriano's painting of Jerome in his study, of course, is neither an original nor a unique representation, and there is a long tradition of depicting authors and scholars in such a setting. 1 The similarity between the Metsys and the Fabriano portrayals, however, seems to me especially remarkable. Together the paintings vividly express, I feel, the close and intimate bond that existed between the two great Christian humanists, and they can serve, therefore, as a starting point -- and an iconographic representation, if you will -- for the subject I am going to discuss.

You are familiar, I know, with the Metsys portrait. The extremely pensive figure of Erasmus in black cloak and cap

Parts of this essay appear in the Introduction to CWE 61, Patristic Scholarship: The Edition of St. Jerome, edd. James F. Brady and John C. Olin ( Toronto, 1992), a volume particularly relevant and supplementary to this essay.

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Erasmus, Utopia, and the Jesuits: Essays on the Outreach of Humanism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Notes xvii
  • 1 - Erasmus and Saint Jerome: The Close Bond and Its Significance 1
  • Notes 22
  • 2 - Erasmus and His Edition of Saint Hilary 27
  • Notes 34
  • 3 - Erasmus and Aldus Manutius 39
  • Notes 55
  • 4 - Erasmus' Adagia and More's Utopia 57
  • Notes 67
  • 5 - More, Montaigne, and Matthew Arnold: Thoughts on the Utopian Vision 71
  • Notes 83
  • 6 - The Jesuits, Humanism, and History 85
  • Notes 104
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