Take Refuge in Your Heart, Poor Vagabond

Georges Rouault (French, 1871 – 1958)
Sheet : 25 1/2 x 20 in. (64.77 x 50.8 cm)
Mat : 30 x 24 in. (76.2 x 60.96 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection
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Georges Rouault was a devout Roman Catholic whose gritty, expressionistic art was directly inspired by his religious beliefs.  This print comes from Rouault’s Miserere (Have Mercy) series, which was designed between 1914 and 1927 in response to the horrors of World War One.  The series—which contains 58 prints—explores the importance of maintaining faith in the face of suffering, and hope in the face of tragedy.  This print is plate 4 from the Miserere series. It depicts an adult reaching out to a child with a gesture of comfort. The title and the imagery suggest that the figures are refugees, a sight that would have been all too familiar to Rouault in the years during and after the war. Although the Miserere series was printed in the late 1920s, the images were not publicly released until 1948, when the aftermath of the Second World War gave the series a tragic new relevance.

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