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Pierrot with a Rose

c. 1936
Georges Rouault, French, 1871 - 1958
The world of the traveling carnival and pantomime theater is a subject with deep roots in Georges Rouault’s art. He saw Pierrot, the innocent, heartsick clown, as a universal symbol of human pathos. This perennial outsider and misfit also embodied a rejection of modern society’s materialistic values. Rouault was active in the early-twentieth-century Catholic revival in French intellectual life and created a deeply religious art based on his convictions. In this image he made the connection explicit by portraying Pierrot with a red rose, a traditional symbol of Christ's blood. The work’s deep, vibrant tones are typical of Rouault’s style. The tapestry-like decorative border signals this work’s original purpose; Rouault made Pierrot with a Rose as a full-scale model for a tapestry in silk and wool that was executed by professional weavers in 1936....

Object Details
With Bignou Gallery, New York, by 1939 [1]; sold to Samuel S. White, 3rd (1876-1952) and Vera M. White (1888-1966), Ardmore, PA, February 11, 1939 [2]; bequest of Vera M. White to PMA, 1967.1. As "Clown à la rose", photo no. 2888.2. Copy of dated receipt from Bignou Gallery to White in curatorial file. The painting is included in the Bignou annotated photo album (Frick Art Reference Library), but with no notation as to date of acquisition.

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