Jul 16, 2010

Mater Dolorosa (Mourning Mother)

Mater Dolorosa (Mourning Mother)


George Romney

(British, 1734–1802)

Brown ink, pen and wash, with graphite underdrawing

Support: Moderately textured, thick beige laid paper

Sheet: 50.1 x 29.3 cm (19 3/4 x 11 9/16 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 1970.338


Did you know?

The painting to which this drawing relates was never realized because an Old Master Italian canvas was donated and took its place in the chapel for which it was intended.


George Romney drew prolifically and his vivid spontaneity is most apparent in hundreds of bold studies rendered in a highly personalized style. This preparatory drawing was for an unrealized history painting intended to decorate the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge. The simplified figure of the mourning Virgin was drawn with flowing lines and heavy ribbons of wash. Romney gave form to the mournful tone of his subject with descending lines that pool at the bottom of the composition. The Virgin’s oversized, pleading hands further emphasize the pathos of his subject.

See also
DR - British
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Dudley P. Allen Fund

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