Abraham Bloemaert

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Abraham Bloemaert
(1566–1651)

St. Roch

Red gouache, heightened with white gouache, over traces of black chalk, and possibly some pen and ink and wash
11 3/8 x 8 1/2 inches (290 x 215 mm)

Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924

I, 229b
Item description: 

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.