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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

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