Study for Hroswitha, 1972

Rosemary Mayer, Study for Hroswitha, 1972, Colored pencil and graphite on paper, 21.6 × 28.1 cm; framed: 28.1 × 34.5 × 2.4 cm

The drawing is an intricately detailed illustration of the sculpture “Hroswitha”. The sketch includes illuminating notes on the pleating of the fabric, the intentional distribution of colors in the work, and different possibilities of displaying the sculpture. “Hroswitha” is a large, sweeping fabric sculpture that hangs like a curtain from the ceiling. Richly hued in scarlet, black, and trimmed in gold and red, the work inevitably evokes the theatrical stage. Mayer wrote, “The title refers to Hroswitha, a German Latin poet of Gandersheim in Saxony. The nuns of Hroswitha’s convent performed her plays for the court of Theophano (of Byzantium) and Otto I, c. 980. Hroswitha originated the themes of Faust and Romeo and Juliet.”