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St. Roch

Abraham BloemaertFirst decade of the seventeenth century

The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum
New York, United States

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.

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