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Study for Prayer for Death in the Desert

Elihu Vedder

American Art

Drawing was a vitally important practice for the artist Elihu Vedder, who ultimately was best known for his work as an illustrator. His preparatory works have a distinctive substantiality and force, owing to his skill in employing expressive, heavy outlines and dramatic contrasts of light and dark. Achieving these effects in his preliminary drawings through the use of charcoal and chalks (rather than the more restrained medium of pencil), Vedder sought a similar visual effect in his finished paintings by employing equally decisive contours and bold modeling in light and dark.
MEDIUM Charcoal, white chalk, pastel, and black crayon on gray-green, moderately thick, slightly textured wove paper.
DATES ca. 1867
DIMENSIONS 12 5/16 x 17 7/16 in. (31.3 x 44.3 cm)
SIGNATURE Signed in graphite lower right: "E. V."
INSCRIPTIONS Very faint inscription (appears erased) at lower left: “[?] Mort[e?]”
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Lent by Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.
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