A Monk Preaching

A monk preaches to an appreciative audience, with a prominent plaque of Christ in judgment behind his left hand identifying the sermon's theme. At his feet, a seated woman with a long cloak and a covered head clasps her hand dramatically to her heart as if the message has reached her. A plump man in a hat seems attentive but unperturbed, while a standing bearded man has removed his hat out of respect. Hans Baldung Grien arranged the tight composition between two columns, framed by intertwining branches above. A gifted pupil of Albrecht Dürer, Baldung Grien had an idiosyncratic style of drawing. He combined long, thin strokes describing the outlines of figures with smaller, sometimes looped strokes for modeling and shading. The stubby hands of the preacher, with their almost circular nails, are also an identifiable feature of his draftsmanship. This drawing's round format and composition suggest to scholars that it was designed as a preparatory study for a stained-glass window.

Pen and brown ink and black chalk (about 1505)

by Hans Baldung Grien (German, 1484/1485-1545)

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