View full screen - View 1 of Lot 24. Recto: A praying, kneeling monk and study of a hand Verso: Studies of legs.
24

Abraham Bloemaert

Recto: A praying, kneeling monk and study of a hand Verso: Studies of legs

Abraham Bloemaert

Abraham Bloemaert

Recto: A praying, kneeling monk and study of a hand Verso: Studies of legs

Recto: A praying, kneeling monk and study of a hand Verso: Studies of legs

Abraham Bloemaert

Gorinchem 1566 - 1651 Utrecht

Recto: A praying, kneeling monk and study of a hand

Verso: Studies of legs


Red chalk, heightened with white (recto and verso), corners cut

214 by 134 mm

Sale, London, Christie's, 28 March 1972, lot 5;
With Herman Shickman, New York;
Professor Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann (1923-2017), New York,
his sale and others, New York, Sotheby's, 31 January 2018, lot 272
J. Bolten, Abraham Bloemaert c.1565-1651, The Drawings, Leiden 2007, 288, no. 857 (verso), reproduced vol. II, fig. 857 and p. 304, no. 914 (recto), reproduced vol. II, fig. 914

In his comprehensive catalogue of Bloemaert's drawing, Jaap Bolten suggests that the kneeling Monk depicted on the recto of the present sheet may well have been produced at the same modelling session as three stylistically comparable studies, all of which depict almost identical subject matter.1


The rich application of red chalk, coupled with subtle touches of white heightening, is a graphic technique that Bloemaert particularly excelled in and the intriguing verso, which depicts a number of leg studies is, much like the recto, executed in this highly characteristic combination of media. Though Bolten suggests that the leg studies depicted in the present work were possibly intended for compositions like The Mocking of Christ,2 the crossed pose of the legs, as well as the extended foot, located on the upper right edge of the sheet, all suggest that these studies more likely relate to a Crucifixion. Indeed a close comparison can be drawn between the pose of the central pair of legs in the present work and those found in Bloemaert's Angels catching in cups the blood of the Crucified Christ,3 though Bolten dates that impressive sheet some 15 to 20 years earlier than the ex-Haverkamp-Begemann drawing.


1. Bolten, op.cit., p. 303, under no. 913

2. Ibid., p. 74, no. 166, reproduced vol. II, fig. 166

3. Ibid., p. 75, no. 168, reproduced vol. II, fig. 168