Abraham Bloemaert (Gorinchem 1566-1651 Utrecht) The Tetragrammaton as a Symbol of God the Father in a Glory of winged Children-Angels (1648)

This drawing with a most exceptional and rare topic to be treated by Bloemaert, follows the composition of the upper part of the important altarpiece painting The Four Church fathers (1632) Bloemaert painted after his earlier print dated 1629 with the main difference of the two angels being replaced by ten. This is the only case within his oeuvre where Bloemaert repeats a print with a painting. The Dove of Peace being replaced by the radiant triangle which bears the four Hebrew letters  הוה translated into English asYHWH (Yodh, He, Waw and He) meaning God of Israel.

The present finely executed sheet is an outspoken example of the type of drawings Prof. Jaap Bolten describes as picture-drawings: fully mature and finished drawings, ready for the market or to receive commissions. A garland of no less than sixteen Children-Angels in complete devotion worship God encircled by a Pantheon dome shape of clouds. Our drawing, dated 1648, made when Bloemaert was over eighty years old, is drawn in a relatively naturalistic style instead of the mannerist style with extended, contorted, preternaturally and idealized bodies for which Bloemaert is famous.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]



[1] Jaap Bolten, Abraham Bloemaert c.1565-1651 The Drawings.
Privately Printed, 2007

[2] J. Bolten, The drawings of Abraham Bloemaert: A supplement.
Master Drawings 55 (2017), p. 3-120

[3] J. Bolten, Abraham Bloemaert and the concept of reality.
Delineavit et Sculpsit 41 (May 2017), p. 48-52

[4] Marten Jan Bok, The life of Abraham Bloemaert in Marcel G. Roethlisberger et. al., Abraham Bloemaert and his sons: Paintings and Prints.
Davaco Publishers, 1993. p. 551-587.

[5] ibid. Cat. No. 489 for the painting and Cat. No. 459 for the print.

[6] Albert J. Elen, Een begenadigd en praktisch tekenaar: creativiteit en functionaliteit in het werkproces in Liesbeth H. Helmus et al, Het Bloemaert-effect, kleur en compositie in de gouden eeuw. Michael Imhof Verlag, 2011

[7] Marcel G. Roethlisberger et al, Abraham Bloemaert (1566-1648) and His Time. Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2001

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