Here landscape serves as a means of creating a distance between man’s constructed and inhabited world on the one hand and the wilderness to which St Jerome has retreated on the other. There, well protected by the watchful lion (from whose paw Jerome once removed a thorn), he can concentrate entirely on his philological work, the translation of the Bible. The background has nothing to do with Dutch landscapes but was inspired by Venetian prints, which Rembrandt collected. The etching and drypoint passages have been interwoven to create a masterful quality of aestival calm; in the foremost section the scene appears to dissolve in light. The atmosphere radiates the arcadian idea of intellectual freedom.