Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924
The present drawing is a unique example of the red monochrome—or rosaille—technique in Bloemaert’s graphic oeuvre. He used a mixture of opaque lead white and red chalk to create a full spectrum between red and white. Infrared reflectography reveals a complete and precise black chalk underdrawing that nearly corresponds to the gouache composition. This highly finished sheet was clearly conceived as an independent work of art and was possibly a devotional piece. St. Roch was the patron saint of plague sufferers.