German artist Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner's innovations in rococo design are magnificently demonstrated in this sheet showing the story of Saint Deicolus and the Boar. The format of the work imitates that of a decorative cartouche, an ornamental framework surrounding an open field usually reserved for an inscription or emblem. Baumgartner ingeniously adapted the cartouche form for this scene: the framing elements seem to grow out of the landscape but are clearly artificial, and have the appearance of exuberant metalwork intertwined with vegetation and rocks. Deicolus was an Irish saint who founded an abbey in the Burgundy region of France. Baumgartner shows an incident in which Deicolus saved a boar from the hunting party of the ruler Clotaire II. The highly finished drawing on blue paper was made as a design for print from a suite combining saints with depictions of the hunt.

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  • Title: Saint Deicolus and the Boar
  • Creator: Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner (German, 1712–1761)
  • Date Created: 1747–48
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 52.2 x 73.5 cm (20 9/16 x 28 15/16 in.)
  • Provenance: with C. G. Boerner, Inc., Dusseldorf., The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1967.22
  • Medium: pen and brown and gray ink and brush and gray wash heightened with white gouache; incised, verso coated with red chalk
  • Inscriptions: upper right, in graphite: a 30; verso, upper left, in graphite: 70_-50
  • Fun Fact: The rarely depicted St. Deicolus was an Irish monk who lived in the 600s and was known for his retreat to a hermitage in a forest.
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Germany, 18th century
  • Credit Line: Dudley P. Allen Fund
  • Collection: DR - German
  • Accession Number: 1967.22

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