The altarpiece is a depiction of the four great Fathers of the Church. On the far left, Jerome is portrayed as a cardinal with the lion from whose paw he drew the thorn. Next comes Augustine, accompanied by a child in a reference to one of the legends surrounding his life: one day by walking by the sea sunk in thought, the saint came across a child scooping up water with a spoon. In reply to his enquiry as to the sense of his activity, the child replied that it was just as pointless as Augustine's own attempts to understand the holy essence of the Trinity with his rational mind. Third comes Pope Gregory the Great, who is seen delivering Emperor Trajan from Purgatory, and finally, on the right, the archbishop Ambrose, busy writing. The dove of Holy Ghost appears beside all four saints as a symbol of their divine inspiration.
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