Follower of Abraham Bloemaert

Download image: 
Follower of Abraham Bloemaert
Saint Melania the Elder
Pen and brown ink and wash, black chalk, and white opaque watercolor on paper.
5 5/8 x 3 13/16 inches (143 x 97 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.
London, Sotheby's, 27 March 1969, lot 203 (one of three); B. Sewell; Joseph F. McCrindle, New York (McCrindle collection no. A1255).

Literature: Marcel G. Roethlisberger, Abraham Bloemaert and his Sons, Doornspijk, 1993, mentioned under cat. no. 204, p. 182; Jaap Bolten, Abraham Bloemaert, c. 1565-1651: The Drawings, The Netherlands, 2007, mentioned under cat. no. 416, p. 153.


This work belongs to a group of three drawings representing Saints Melania the Elder, Mary the Courtesan, Niece of Abraham, and Thais. The drawings relate to Abraham Bloemaert's series of engravings, the Sacra Eremus Ascetriarum, or Sacred Hermitage of Anchoresses (see Roethlisberger, Abraham Bloemaert and his Sons, 1993, cat. nos. 163-214 and Bolten, Abraham Bloemaert, c. 1565-1651: The Drawings, 2007, pp.169-171). Designed around 1612, the series is composed of twenty-five women, the majority of which are early Christian saints who led lives of solitary religious devotion in fourth-century Egypt and Palestine, often called anchorites. They are drawn in reverse of the prints (see Roethlisberger, cat. nos. 195, 196, 204), but according to Jaap Bolten, author of the catalogue raisonné on the artist's drawings, these works are "drawn copies after the original" (See Bolten, cat. nos. 415, 416, 469).
First of Three Studies of Hermit Saints.

Associated names: 

McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.

Artist page: